Our ants for the ant farm finally arrived this past weekend.  We followed the instructions, put them in the refrigerator to make them “chill” out a bit, then poured them into their new home.

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The kids were so excited to watch the process.  When a few of the ants fell on the table during the pouring, they were convinced the ants were out for the sole purpose of biting them.  Eventually, we got them all corralled and in the container, and commenced watching them go to work.

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And work they did!  First, they set out to pile the dead ants into certain areas that they apparently designated as graveyards.  Only after they had “cleaned up” did they start building tunnels.  By day 2:

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By day 3, the tunnel system became even more elaborate:

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I think about half the ants were dead on arrival or died within the first 12 hours.  However, as you can see, there were still plenty left to work.  We have been able to watch them clean themselves at designated “shower times,” rest at certain times (but very rarely, and only small groups at the time), and, of course, work.  It is truly amazing how much one ant can carry!  Along with the ants, we received a little kit containing a full-poster diagram of the ant’s body, a booklet that describes every aspect of the ant and the ant colony, a little magnifying glass, a feed and water schedule, and a few other extras.  We have had discussions about hard work, team work, the importance of cleaning and caring for what we have been blessed with.  Although we discuss such topics at other times, I think it is having more impact as they witness the ants firsthand, and see the fruits of all the labor happen so quickly.

And I must confess, I think S and I are enjoying watching these little critters as much as, if not more than, the kids!

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!  It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”    –Proverbs 6:6-8

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