Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A Day at the Zoo


“Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise” Proverbs 6.6

Monday we went with our daughter and two granddaughters to Colchester Zoo, which we enjoy visiting from time to time. This gave me the excuse to visit the baby hippo sponsored for me as a birthday present for the last couple of years. I became fascinated with baby hippos when I was in Bristol and was the Team Curate of what was then the Knowle Team Ministry (now back working as two parishes Holy Nativity & St. Martins) The Diocese of Bristol was linked to a Diocese in Uganda and we had visitors come to Knowle from there. One of them was a teenage girl called Grace who came to stay with us and we asked what she would like to do. She was very keen to visit Bristol Zoo to see African wild animals. I thought she would see them in their natural habitat at home but I gathered that the only animal she and her family saw regularly were baboons. So of we went to Bristol Zoo and it was there that I first became acquainted with baby hippos and I just thought they were so cute.

On Monday at Colchester I had time to watch the ant colony which I always find very fascinating. The ants in the colony at Colchester are leaf cutters and they transport huge (for them) pieces of leaves etc. from the source back to the nest where it is turned into fungi on which the ant community feed. You see 100’s of ants crossing over in the transparent pipes from home to the source of food and 100’s travelling the opposite way returning with the pieces of leaf which they have cut usually at least twice as big as the ant carrying it. The colony is well-organised with different sorts of ants fulfilling different roles but all working together for the good of the community. No doubt it was this industry and community spirit which inspired the writer of the Book of Proverbs.

Perhaps we can learn a lesson from the ants working together in harmony for the good of every ant in their colony.

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