If you like this story summary, you may enjoy reading a similar story, The Empire of the Ants by H. The petrol was now covered with ants. He had got quite a thrill out of the fight–a pity it was already over. He estimated these as large, but, in comparison with his bank balance, by no means unbearable. He ran like the others, ran for his life. Perhaps the ants weren’t so almighty, after all; perhaps he had allowed the mass suggestion of that evil black throng to hypnotize him, just as a snake fascinates and overpowers. Leiningen Versus the Ants is one of my favorite short stories of all time.

And that thought was: And every single one of them a fiend from hell; before you can spit three times they’ll eat a full-grown buffalo to the bones. The Brazilian official threw up lean and lanky arms and clawed the air with wildly distended fingers. And now cries of fury, a thudding of spades, and a wild trampling to and fro, showed that the ants had made full use of the interval, though luckily only a few had managed to get across. Well, I’m not going to let you try it; if I did I’d be worse than one of those ants. With a bound he was over–and among the ants. Along a front that moved forward as uniformly as a straight line, the ants drew nearer and nearer to the water ditch.

Then all at once he saw, starkly clear and huge, and, right before his eyes, furred with ants, towering and swaying in its death agony, the pampas veersus.

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Then they began to climb up this to make straight for the helpless garrison. Visibly the swiftness and power of the masses of water increased, swirling into quicker and quicker movement its living black surface, dispersing its pattern, carrying away more and more of it on the hastening current. Unlike his neighbours, Leiningen is not about to give up years of hard work and planning to “an act of God”, as he believes in the superiority of the human brain and has already made preparations.


Leiningen posted sentries with headlights and electric torches, then withdrew to his office, and began to reckon up his losses. Leiningen sensed disaster; something must have gone wrong with the machinery of the dam. When reinforcements reached Leiningen, the invaders were halfway over.

He ran like the others, ran for his life. Drowned and floundering insects eddied in thousands along the flow, while Indians running on the bank destroyed every swimmer that reached the side. With his bristling grey hair, bulky nose, and lucid eyes, he had the look of an aging and shabby eagle.

If the blighters decided to rush the ditch, fill it to the brim with their corpses, there’d still be more than enough to destroy every trace of that cranium of his. Dawn found a thoroughly refreshed and active Leiningen riding along the edge of the ditch. Carl Stephenson; Adapted by: The petrol was now covered with ants.

In spite of this bloody warning, more and more men showed they were making up their minds to run the blockade.

The inundation rose higher and higher: True, streams of petrol and clumps of earth still prevented a landing. Moreover, he had ordered his men not to disturb in any way whatever the advancing horde.

He tried to rise. In six minutes–gnawed to the bones.

Plot Diagram: Leiningen vs. the Ants by C W on Prezi

It was a sight one could never forget. Leiningen is an industrious coffee plantation owner in Brazil. It was originally published in Esquire Magazine in December ofand they definitely renewed their copyright: The vessel cast off.

However, Leiningen realizes that his original principle of canals and damming can be put to use: The climax of the story occurs on the return journey when he is knocked down by the ants and almost devoured. Even as it was, it could hardly be described as rosy, though the planter seemed quite unaware that death in a gruesome form plto drawing closer and closer. And every single one of them a fiend from hell; before you can spit three times they’ll eat a full-grown buffalo to the bones.


Then he could see again, but the burning girdle of petrol appeared infinitely far away; he could not last half that antss.

Moreover, during his three years as a planter, Leiningen had met and defeated drought, Hood, plague and all other “acts of God” which had come against him-unlike his fellow-settlers in the district, who had made little or no resistance.

Leiningen Versus the Ants

On his way back he stumbles. Leiningen is able to incinerate several waves of attack, but runs out of petrol when the pumps malfunction. Vdrsus meanwhile Leiningen had made a discovery that chilled him to the bone-petrol was no longer flowing into the ditch. Hardly likely; and if there were, his prospect of getting back was almost nil.

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Pell-mell the rabble swarmed down the hill to the plantation, scattered right and left before the barrier of the water-filled ditch, then sped onwards to the river, where, again hindered, they fled along its bank out of sight.

He wasted no time bemoaning the summqry. Then, as he rode past the stretch where the ants had failed to cross the day before, he lriningen a brief but impressive scene. As the numbers both of his men and his petrol sprinklers were severely limited, this rapid extension of the line of battle was becoming an overwhelming danger.

When Leiningen heard this, he knew the plantation was doomed. The Brazilian official threw up lean and lanky arms and clawed the air with wildly distended fingers.

They leijingen removed their shirts and pants to detect the quicker the upwards-hastening insects; when they saw one, they crushed it; and fortunately the onslaught as yet was only by skirmishers.