Ant larvae (formica)

The boy found himself in the hall of the fortress, where hundreds and hundreds of ants were licking or feeding in the nurseries, carrying grubs to various aisles to get an even temperature, and opening or closing the ventilation passages. In the middle, the Leader sat complacently, laying eggs, attending to the broadcasts, issuing directions or commanding executions, surrounded by a sea of adulation...

But we need not go on about the ants in too much detail- they are not a pleasant subject. It is enough to say that the boy went on living among them, conforming to their habits, watching them so as to understand as much as he could, but unable to ask questions. It was not only that their language had not got the words in which humans are interested- so that it would have been impossible to ask them whether they believed in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness- but also that it was dangerous to ask questions at all. A question was a sign of insanity to them. Their life was not questionable; it was dictated. he crawled from nest to seeds and back again, exclaimed that the Mammy song was loverly, opened his jaws to regurgitate, and tried to understand as well as he could.

T.H. White
The Once and Future King

1 comment:

Tyna said...

This sounds so familiar. I must have read this book forever ago. As a child perhaps. Thanks for the reminder!