I know that when I think of ants, I think of the big black ones I was afraid of as a toddler, the ones I boldly crushed when I grew brave enough.
But much more menacing are those I witnessed in Central Africa, the rivers of army ants that flowed through jungles, fanning out when they encountered a corpse, devouring it to the bone while the guards stood by on back legs, the giant pincher heads alert, ready to snap.
In Guatemala, we delighted in finding trails of leaf cutter ants. We would each choose an ant from the marching stream and at the count of three pick up the leaf, which the ant usually held onto, and set them side by side to race. Sometimes, the fastest ones become a little stunned by the sudden break in stride and had trouble getting started again.