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Bibi The Rebellious Bachac

Please note that all stories are the original works of the author and are protected by copyright laws. While the stories are freely available on this blog, they should not be reproduced, printed or sold in any form without the expressed permission of the author. These stories are dedicated to the children of the Caribbean.

*The bachac is a type of leaf cutter ant found in Trinidad.

Bibi was lucky. She was part of a huge bachac colony, an empire of sorts in the ant world. She was proud to be part of something so great, but was often discontented with her role.She was one of the worker ants responsible for sourcing, cutting and chewing the youngest, freshest leaves and flowers in the forest. This meant she had trek through the forest everyday with all the other worker ants, cut leaves and take them back to the colony. There she would chew up the leaves and add them as a food source for the fungus.
The fungus was the life source of the colony. It formed the base for the next generation of bachac. It was where the Queen bachac would lay her eggs and where the babies would feed and then become adults to continue the cycle. Bibi, admired the massive chambers of the colony. It was a marvel of architecture and took many generations of bachac to build this home for an entire population. Some workers were responsible for maintaining the colony and expanding it to support a growing bachac population.
Soldier bachac were responsible for defending the colony against invaders. Most of the time the soldiers would ridicule the worker bachac that were bringing back the leaves calling them the "maids" of the colony. It was true. It was a housekeeping role, a role that sustained. They didn't have the exciting job of the soldiers or the luxurious role of the Queen. This troubled Bibi a great deal. Most nights she could not sleep as she wondered why she had to be born into such a lowly role.
One night it hit her, why should she put up with all the demeaning comments? Why should any of the workers put up with it? So Bibi planned a revolt.
She slowly and secretly planted the seed of rebellion amongst the workers. She rallied support and they planned the biggest bachac protest you could imagine. Free rights for all bachac, birthright would be no more, voting would be necessary for the next Queen and battles to determine who would make it as soldiers. So they fought and because the sheer numbers of the workers outweighed the Queen and soldiers the battles were won.
But when a worker ant won the election for Queen, they quickly realized she could not perform the functions of a Queen. The soldier bachac were all so busy fighting the workers that enemies of the colony invaded and began to destroy the colony and the fungus. In the midst of the chaos Bibi realized everyone was busy fighting and the colony was collapsing around them. They were also loosing young unborn bachac as the fungus was slowly being destroyed.
In a flash Bibi realized her horrible mistake. Worker ants were important, they were very important. They made sure there was order and food for everyone. They did the housekeeping. They did this best. They were not strong like the soldiers but they were organized, they could not lay eggs like the Queen but they kept the fungus alive to ensure the young were fed. Only they could do that job, only the Queen could do her job and only the soldiers had the strength to defend the colony.
Bibi realized that she had underestimated the significance of workers and their rightful role. She quickly realized she had to use the same influence she had used to rally the workers to get them to see the dangers of what they were doing. Fortunately for her, they too panicked at the sight of so many enemies and they stopped fighting and allowed the soldiers to do what they were born to do. From that day on, the soldiers never ridiculed the workers, Bibi humbly carried out her role as a worker bachac, proud to be a part of building a bachac empire.

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