This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Going one day last Summer to my barn, I was startled by finding a genuine duel in progress on the threshold of the open door. The two largest ants that I am sure I ever saw were in a fierce contest apparently for mere individual prowess. There was nothing about them to fight for; there were no other ants about, and they were of the same species, and about the same size. They wrestled like athletes and stood up to it for a square fight. Neither one seemed to gain any advantage, nor was either one likely to be maimed, as always occurs when black and brown ants contend. Impatient with waiting I stepped forward, when they both erected themselves and stared at me for a moment and then darted off to the same retreat. There was every appearance of a quarrel in their tussel, which they had manfully agreed to settle a la Gambetta.
The most interesting ant study I have ever enjoyed was a few years since, when I fortunately came upon a colony moving to a new abode. They came up from the earth in a procession that lasted for certainly more than two days. A part of the way they traveled on the top of a rail fence. Many of the ants were loaded with larvae, others seemed empty-handed, or empty mouthed rather. Sometimes a large number came in close procession, then there would be a break for a few moments, or single ants would at intervals appear. The caravan again entered the earth after traversing a space of some twenty rods, over brush, stones, and into a thicket of blackberries and young growth of birch and hemlock. It was a species that tunnel without raising a mound.