Conclusion of excerpt from collection of children’s stories Solar Girl and Lunar Boy.
What did they have to lose? Their bodies would soon turn into dirt without some rain.
The ants began to whisper, “Who will lead us?”
A unified cry arose from the crowd, “Mosha! Mosha!”
The queens arose and selected Mosha without dissent. After all, was it not she who brought them together and was not Mount Kilimanjaro in her own backyard?
Mosha was scared. As a worker ant she had always followed, now she must lead. She finally stepped forward and exclaimed, “It’s breath or death!”
Mosha’s first action was to have the workers construct a road up the mountain. Then she had two quad-trillion soldiers link their bodies into one long rope leading up the road. The remaining Formicidae carefully climbed the road by walking on the back of the living ant-rope.
Straining with every step of their many legs, they crawled to the peak of the mountain and collapsed from exhaustion and lack of oxygen.
The dark cloud was still floating quietly above.
Mosha was almost dead from thirst. With her last bit of strength she urged them on. “Stand up! Don’t give up! We must breathe together, now!”
Upon hearing Mosha’s plea the ants arose. They quietly began to inhale and exhale.
At first their tiny puffs of air were like a trickling stream. But they didn’t stop. Within minutes the force of their breathing turned into a river of wind and the river quickly became a mighty sea of air pulsating through the cloud.
Now the breath of one tiny ant is nothing. But 8 quadrillion (8,000,000,000,000,000) ants breathing in and out together began to change that strange cloud.
As the ants finally fell still upon the rocks gasping, Mosha saw the cloud take a long deep breath, turn black as night and with a heavy sigh, it began to cry.
The cloud’s tears fell softly upon the mountain. As drops splattered their bruised and battered bodies the Formicidae screamed with excitement and scurried from one antenna to another, dancing in amazement! To see ants scream and dance is an awesome sight. Never before and never again, have they exhibited such behavior.
The lowly Formicidae, one of the smallest creatures on earth, had literally saved the world from becoming a gigantic dust bowl. And though ants aren’t known for boasting or bragging, they gave Mosha a hero’s welcome when she descended the mountain and crawled back to the plains of her birth.
From that day on, ants have treasured their water (H2O) resources. They know only too well that clean, pure water is more precious than gold.