For six months my husband and I lived in the state of Gracias a Dios, Honduras, an area accessible only by air or a long winding river. Our house was basic but adequate. It had been built many years before out time there. A house keeper kept it spotless, but in the tropics houses are kept open to catch every movement of air. It the tropics cockroaches are a fact of life.

If cockroaches some way end up on their backs, they die. Ants apparently consider them food.

My journal on February 19, 2004 in Ahuas.

Tugboat ants

2/19/04ant tugboat IMG_0367

This morning a dead cockroach lay just inside the back door. Now it has disappeared. A flotilla–a large troop of ants moved it front the porch across the threshold to the spare bedroom. Apparently decided it was going in the wrong direction, they moved it back up and over the threshold. The ants were able to control the downward motion and glide it along until the floor was smooth. Getting around the threshold, they moved the whole cockroach like tugs moving a huge cruise ship in a harbor. The cockroach seemed to float across the floor. Every so often, a new fotilla of tugboats appeared to lift and carry it. The last I saw of the cockroach, it was being floated along the wall of the bathroom before it disappeared in the wall.

If the ants can’t move a cockroach, they take it apart and move it piece by piece leaving only the wings.

Another day I watched the ants move a cockroach to the shower which is enclosed by a four inch smooth box. They were able to lift it straight up that smooth surface, although it fell down a couple of times. Then the ants took it across the top and down the other side before disappearing.

Amazing cooperation and determination.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we people had that kind of determination and most of all, cooperation. We could move the world!

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