146. The Man and the Ants

"You're so weak!" Army-Ant said to Little-Ant. "I'm strong, and my bite is fierce."
"True," said Little-Ant, "but even so, I can do what you cannot."
"That's impossible!" shouted Army-Ant.
"I can get a piece of a man's skin," said Little-Ant.
"I can do that too!" insisted Army-Ant. Then he climbed onto a man's hand, but when he bit the skin, the man hurled Army-Ant to the ground.
Then Little-Ant climbed onto the same man's hand, nibbled very gently, and brought the piece of skin to Army-Ant.
"Now you see," said Little-Ant, "we small creatures can also accomplish great deeds."
[a Bakongo story from the Congo]

Inspired by: "Why the small-ant was the winner" in Congo Life and Jungle Stories by John Weeks, 1921.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The driver-ant referred to in the story is a type of army-ant found in Africa. The author notes how dangerous and hated the driver-ants are, but does not give any other specific information regarding the "small-ant" who is the hero of the story. In the story, the man kills the army-ant.

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