Exceeded my writing goal of 1,700 words today with NaNoWriMo. Today, another Benjamin Franklin story on scientific inquiry from a century-old student’s reader. I hope you enjoy the read and pass it on. RB
Benjamin Franklin thought that ants knew how to tell things to one another. He thought that they talked by some kind of signs. When an ant has found a dead fly too big for him to drag away, he will run off and get some other ants to help him.
Franklin thought that ants have some way of telling other ants that there is work to do. One day he found some ants eating molasses out of a little jar in a closet. He shook them out. Then he tied a string to the jar, and hung it on a nail in the ceiling. But he had not got all the ants out of the jar. One little ant liked sweet things so well that he stayed in the jar, and kept on eating like a greedy boy.
At last when this greedy ant had eaten all that he could, he started to go home. Franklin saw him climb over the rim of the jar. Then the ant ran down the outside of the jar. But when he got to the bottom, he did not find any shelf there. He went all round the jar. There was no way to get down to the floor. The ant ran this way and that way, but he could not get down. At last the greedy ant thought he would see if he could go up. He climbed up the string to the ceiling. Then he went down the wall. He came to his own hole at last, no doubt. Half an hour later, after he got hungry again Franklin saw a swarm down the string. in a line, one after another, and into the jar. Do you think that the greedy ant told the other ants about the jar? Did he tell them by speaking, or by signs that he made with his feelers ? Perhaps, if you watch two ants when they meet, you will see that they touch their feelers to¬gether, as if they said “Good-morning!”
SOURCE: Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans By Samuel Eggleston American Book Co 1893 Digitized by Google Available for free download from Google Books
Tomorrow, Franklin Asks the Sunshine Something Rita Bay