Sometimes, we think that it is the big predator which is the scarier one, the more desperate to kill and eat, the more vicious. But, actually it is not so. The big Predator is terrifying on account of its size but its size can become a restriction sometimes if the prey is small and quick on its feet.
Sometime before, I had gone on a nature trip and as usual I was exploring the undergrowth for any interesting fauna/flora. The whole sideways, adjacent to the path, was filled with grass, dried leaves, ferns, small shrubs and so on. Amongst the dry leaves, I noted a peculiar looking insect. Quite big. Something like a giant fly but the wings were bigger and gossamer like. Brownish. I felt curious and repulsed, simultaneously. I tried to take several pictures of the insect. It was moving about on the leaf, dragging itself. It seemed okay.
I noted that there were a lot of the big orange ants scurrying out about everywhere as usual, being busy. Nothing unusual about that. You can see them everywhere on trees, tree trunks, on the ground and so on.
And I was just again wondering what an amazingly repulsive looking unusual insect, I had never seen before. Then things happened. It was so sudden that I was shocked and stunned.
All of a sudden, this huge insect lost its footing and rolled over. And desperately started flailing its wings. I was frozen with shock but I have seen many times Insects roll over, and then right themselves back. Nothing much to worry about that. I would have still left.
But the next instant, I forgot all such thoughts. I was frightened to see the so called innocent looking orange ants swarming and colluding together to cover the poor insect. I was horrified. At how suddenly these ants which were just moving about aimlessly, scattered, attacked in one huge group, fixing the poor insect on the leaf. All my thoughts, my repulsion went out of the window, as I felt a mixture of pity, dismay, nausea, horror and fright, all converging. The Big helpless insect was fighting desperately but I could see to my shock that its movements were suddenly less and feeble..I could see the insects succeeding.It was amazing to see the sharp focussed attack of these small insect on the big insect.
Something, anything, my brain told me to do. I know, we cannot interfere with nature’s activities. That is the way nature functions. Beauty and bestiality goes hand in hand. But I had to do something!!! I looked for some leaves to detach the insect..I did’ nt find it. I found a big stick and managed to hit at the leaf till the insect got detached.. and it fell somewhere in the bushes.
Then, I saw, as suddenly as the ants had come together, they got separated and went back to their usual scattered ways. I could only hope that the poor strange looking insect has been saved though I know it may not escape whatever fate it has been destined for.
But, as you can see, the power of number and possibly, the existence of some excellent communication system and possible strategising (incredible, isn’t it?) can make a small predator overpower, immobilize and even kill a huge predator.
It may look small but when observed in itself, you can see a whole set of dramatic events at play in the wilderness.