An elder ant corrals a group of young callow ants in a chamber deep within Myrtle Nest. She is ready once again to tell the stories that had always made her a welcome guest. For a night's shelter and a little food, she trades excitement, adventure, and a little wisdom. Her tales are full of sound and fury, taste and odor, gentle touches and resounding thumps, unbearable stink and irresistible swee-tness. Told in the darkness of hidden chambers, without a single word or a single ray of light, they’ll conjure a world strangely vivid to her students’ minds. From her tales the fallen will find life, the forgotten will find respect, and the young will find comfort. So begins the treasured ritual. The Elder's antennae stroke each of the shy, white, newly emer-ged ants, until they are reassured with her scent and calm enough to listen.
“Among the ants there are many legends of adventure,” she explains, “but my favorite have always been those of the scout ant, Ms. Mire.”