Mythical Creatures in Writing, Part III.
What better way to sneak up on an enemy than with an army of miniature people who ride ants. I can picture it now, the enemy is unaware their foe are in their camp, in their shoes and sleeping quarters. Then it all happens at once – the Abatwa attack and a swarm of ant-riding hunters take everyone by surprise with poisonous arrows. And the enemy won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late.
So the morale of the story is, even those tiny creatures can pack a punch.
What is it?
African folklore sees these legendary little people coexisting peaceably with the ants in the anthills of Southern Africa , living on the roots of grasses and other plants. The anthills go far deeper than the eye can see, into complex tunnels and structures beneath the earth. Mountains also make good homes for the Abatwa.
Ability / Power
These small creatures are shy and rarely seen, but have been known to show themselves to young children. Legend says, if you encounter an Abatwa they will ask, “From where did you first see me?” And the right question is not, “Huh?” or “Right now.” Better to say they were seen from a mountain or some far away area. It seems these creatures have miniature-man syndrome, and could just as easily shot you with a poison arrow should you insult them.
They ride ants, and if I was them, I’d use every ant in the world as my minion and ‘take over the world’ muahahaha.
They’re nomadic hunters and always on the move to where the food is. What’s interesting is that if they don’t find any food – not like I could see them running out of bugs to eat – they turn on their friendly ant-horses and consume them. Eekk. Poor ants.
The Abatwa are so tiny they can hide behind a thick blade of grass. They still maintain human form – about half an inch tall, but don’t underestimate them because they have Zulu spirits, and will just as quickly turn on you. Think Gulliver’s Travels.
Previous Mythical Creature Posts:
Mythical Creatures in Writing, Part I – Marchosias: A Kick-Ass Creature
Mythical Creatures in Writing, Part II – Ningyo: The Deadly Mermaid