The first property of the ant is that they walk in order, each carrying a grain; the ants who have no grain to carry do not try to take the grain others are carrying, but find some of their own. The interpretation refers to the Biblical parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25:8) and recommends prudence.

The ants in the van der Borcht copperplate engraving below walk in orderly lines, carrying grain from the field to their nest.

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The woodcut below (from the Rome, 1577 edition) is in its depiction of the ants is almost identical to the van der Borcht engraving.


First Property of the Ant