IN one of the Ant-hills in the highest part of the meadow,
were a lot of young Ants talking together. "I," said one,
"am going to be a soldier, and drive away anybody who comes
to make us trouble. I try biting hard things every day to
make my jaws strong, so that I can guard the home better."
"I," said another and smaller Ant, "want to be a worker. I
want to help build and repair the home. I want to get the
food for the family, and feed
 the Ant babies, and clean them
off when they crawl out of their old coats. If I can do
those things well, I shall be the happiest, busiest Ant in
"We don't want to live that kind of life," said a couple of
larger Ants with wings. "We don't mean to stay around the
Ant-hill all the time and work. We want to use our wings,
and then you may be very sure that you won't see us around
home any more."
The little worker spoke up: "Home is a pleasant place. You
may be very glad to come back to it some day." But the Ants
with the wings turned their backs
and wouldn't listen to
A few days after this there were exciting times in the
Ant-hill. All the winged Ants said "Good-bye" to the
soldiers and workers, and flew off through the air, flew so
far that the little ones at home could no longer see them.
All day long they were gone, but the next morning when
 the little worker (whom we heard talking) went out to get
breakfast, she found the poor winged Ants lying on the
ground near their home. Some of them were dead, and the rest
were looking for food.
The worker Ant ran up to the one who had said
she didn't want
to stay around home, and asked her to come back to the
Ant-hill. "No, I thank you," she answered. "I have had my
breakfast now, and am going to fly off again." She raised
her wings to go, but after she had given one flutter, they
dropped off, and she could never fly again.
The worker hurried back to the Ant-hill to call some of her
sister workers, and some of the soldiers, and they took the
Ant who had lost her wings and carried her to another part
of the meadow. There they went to work to build a new home
and make her their queen.
First, they looked for a good, sandy place, on which the sun
would shine all
 day. Then the worker Ants began to dig in
the ground and bring out tiny round pieces of earth in their
mouths. The soldiers helped them, and before night they had
a cosy little home in the earth, with several rooms, and
some food already stored. They took their queen in, and
brought her food to eat, and waited on her, and she was
happy and contented.
By and by the Ant eggs began to hatch, and the workers had
all they could do to take care of their queen and her little
Ant babies, and the soldier Ants had to help. The Ant babies
were little worms or grubs when they first came out of the
eggs; after a while they curled up in tiny, tiny cases,
called pupa-cases, and after another while they came out of
these, and then they looked like the older Ants, with their
six legs, and their slender little waists. But whatever they
were, whether eggs, or grubs, or curled up in the
pupa-cases, or lively little Ants, the workers fed
 and took
care of them, and the soldiers fought for them, and the
queen-mother loved them, and they all lived happily together
until the young Ants were ready to go out into the great
world and learn the lessons of life for themselves.