Ynit and Gib

(Idea vs brute force)

Ynit was trying to move fast on the way to her colony while carrying a large elm leaf one hundred times her size held by its stem. Although Ynit naturally woud walk around some difficult obstacles on her way, she still had to climb over some of the tiny twigs, small rocks and , and bunches of leaves that covered most of her planned path to get home. She did it with apparent ease. The leaf she was carrying swayed all over in its precarious hol between her jaws.

Ynit was a worker ant whose regularly scheduled work was no different from that of other worker ants in her colony, except that she was the she was the one that fetched the larger and heavier loads..

This was a perfect day for an ant to do her work. It was cool yet sunny, and the breeze, which could have been a big problem for an ant carrying a large leaf, had kept itself high through the top of the trees.

Ynit did not know or care how long or far she had yet to go to reach home. Even though Nature had not endowed her with a logical mind or dicerning thoughts, it had programmed her with with the necessary knowledge to do her work without the handicap of decision-making. But Ynit had never been in a situation where she could her life in danger. So, her potential to defend and protect herself had not been tested.

Today, while walking on a tree branch lying across a small pond, she noticed that a large, slow-moving shadow was enveloping her. She managed to turn her head sufficiently to see the giant figure of a bear with a very long snout. It ended in a very small tip hovering dangerously close to her. At this moment Ynit heard the hoarse and slow voice of a bear. “Hey you ant, let go of that leaf.”

Ynit was taken aback by the frightening sound of the voice. For a moment she didn’t know what to do, but gathering some life-saving courage she said, “I won’t let go of it! As son as I let go of this leaf I will disappear inside your big snout. So consider this elm leaf my defense shield.”

She surprised herself with the creativity of her answer. But she also rightly thought that it was an act of self-protection motivated by fear.

“I hate leafs”, said the bear. “I was born to eat ants, not leaves.”

“Mr Bear don’t call me just ‘ant’! My name is Ynit. That’s what you should call me when addressing me from now on”, said the ant with authority, while continued to walk and holding the leaf.

Trying to divert the bear’s mind from the idea of feeding on her, Ynit change the subject. “By the way Mr. Bear, what is your name?, she asked.

“They call me Gib” replied the bear. “But why do you want to know?”, he asked suspiciously.

“Because you look to me like an important and distinguished bear, and for that reason you should have a name. Besides, a name gives you status”, replied the ant.

I don’t know what status is, but it was given to me by a young bear from my pack. I don’t like that bear because he thinks he knows everything. He told me it means ‘big’. When someone asks about my name, that’s what I tell them.”

“Well Mr. Gib” replied the ant, “I like your name. Most animals and insects don’t have individual names. So, I should say that you and I are very special. By having a name we are both a notch above in value and importance over the others in your pack and my colony. That is what I meant before by status.”

Before giving the bear the opportunity to speak, the ant continued, “I bet you have special skills like I do, perhaps superior to the other bears in your group. So, please Mr. Gib, tell me about your special abilities while we walk. I am anxious to hear you telling me about them. I think I am right saying that you are faster than the others in your pack at spotting the largest anthill in the territory. I’ll bet they all envy you for this. Inside, they wish they could beat you at it.”

“Well, Miss Ynit”, to be honest I can say that I am the best at finding anthills”, admitted the bear with a certain air of vanity and pride. The bear smugness did not escape Ynit. This was the reaction she was looking for, so she hastened to add, “I am gld to hear that Mr. Gib. For my part I can say that I am the one that brings the largest amount of food and supplies to my colony. My elders told me that when I was young I was smaller than anyone my age, but I had bigger jaws than any of them. So, being so different the figured that I should have a name; that’s when they started calling me ‘tiny’ backwards. And the moniker stock for good. I am still smaller that the other worker ants. Maybe this made me work harder, to prove that even being small I could carry larger loads that the others. “By the way, ¿Weren't you perhaps looking for a big anthill today?”

“Yes, that’s my job, almost every day of the year, when I am not hibernating. “So then”, said Ynit, “what happened to your dignity? Why are you demeaning yourself trying to eat one single, tiny worker ant? I say that would be more fitting to a playful, baby ant-eater cub.You should be occupying yourself with large anthills, where yo can get your fill with thousands of fat ants in a short time. I take it that there are plenty of anthills in this area. Why don’t you stand up on your hind legs and the tip of your toes and try looking around to see how many anthills you can spot”.

Instinctively, the bear straightened himself up and started scanning the entire area around him. Ynit quickly let go of the leaf and ran under the branch she was on, and through the bed of leaves and twigs into a hole that served as a tunnel to her underground colony.

When Gib, disappointed by not being able to to spot any anthills look down for Ynit, he went berserk when couldn’t see her. He started scraping the ground and tearing the weeds and tree roots around him with his sharp claws, trying to find Ynit.

Finally, he gave up and walked back home, crying and dejected.

All the way home he was clamoring,”Next time I see an ant I won’t let her talk her way out of my stomach”.