`I was going into a deep forest alone on foot, with my blanket, food, and cooking utensils on my back. The day was very hot, and I sat down to rest. Every leaf was still, and the only sound was the distant murmur of a water-fall away in the forest.
Very soon I noticed something that caused the sand to fly up not far from where I was sitting, and after a few moments I satisfied myself as to what it was.
It was a small insect that had burrowed down into the sand, and with its tail or some other apparatus, I could not see exactly, he was throwing up the sand thick and fast.
How it flew! In a very few moments he had a hole about the diameter, and twice the depth of a large coffee-cup. The sand was dry in a few moments and of course would very readily roll down into the centre. I had read of this creature, but had never seen one before. He was a little dark-looking fellow, and now he put himself into the very centre of his den, burying himself completely out of sight, except his horn, as it appeared sticking like a rusty needle out of the sand.
This was the ant-lion, and soon I had a specimen of his skill and power. A little red ant came running along seeking her food in her usual busy way. So she climbed up on the rim of this sandy cup and peeped over to investigate. Presently, suspecting danger, she turned to scramble off. Alas! It was too late; the sand rolled from under her feet, and down she went to the bottom; when in an instant that little black horn opened like a pair of shears, and “clip,” the poor ant had lost a leg. And now the poor thing struggles to climb up, but one leg is gone and she finds it hard work.
The little monster does not move or show himself. He knows what he is about. The ant has got almost to the top and livery when the sand slips, and down she goes. “Clip” go the shears, and another leg is gone. She struggles hard to rise, but she gets up but a little way before she slips again, and a third leg is off. She now gives up the struggle, and the lion devours her in a few minutes, and then with a flip of his tail throws the skin of the ant entirely out of the cup, and the trap is now set for another victim. A fly crept down to see what was smelling so good, when “clip,” he had but one wing, and here was the second course.
O ant-lion, you are a preacher to me! I now see how it is the feet of the sinner slide as they walk over sandy places. They go to the hotel. It is all fair and inviting. But “clip,” they are crippled. They will soon roll back and take another glass, and every time the destroyer cripples them. They go to places of sin, to the ball, the opera, the billiard table, the racecourse, and know not that the dead are there! Ah, every fall makes the next easier, and the probability of escape less and less.
O ant-lion! I wish all could see thee, and learn from thee, so cunning and blood-thirsty, so cruel to thy victims, and withal so remorseless, so like the devil-that roaring lion, who goeth about sinking whom he may devour.
Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;