We set up camp at the foot of Mont Thabor. To our east lay Italy and to our west France. Not far from our tent, a rocky chasm, like the gullet of a large beast, swallowed bowls of churning water as the larch trees about our persons swayed in a mellow breeze. The afternoon was warm and our minds placid.
With my bare feet cushioned above the short, springy grass, I was surprised to see a bottle fly – metallic-jade and cobalt across its thorax – drop dead from the air. The insect landed close to my toes, on its back and motionless. A minute or two later, a lone ant turned up at the scene, soon joined by an army of a dozen or more. Heaving, lifting and guiding, it wasn’t long before the fly, and indeed the squadron of well-organised ants, disappeared out of sight.
Do we – organisms – live for ourselves and die for each other?