Leiningen Versus the Ants, a Short Story by Carl Stephenson. Leiningen Versus the Ants has ratings and 26 reviews. Gbolahan said: Read this some 25 years ago. Can’t remember where (a collection of short stories. Carl Stephenson creates a true monster tale in “Leiningen vs. the Ants,” and he intensifies the experience by writing in third-person omniscient point of view.

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But the reported enemy was by no means unfamiliar to the planter.

But so great was the Indians’ trust in Leiningen, in Leiningen’s word, and in Leiningen’s wisdom, that they received his curt tidings, and his orders for the imminent struggle, with the calmness with which they were leiningfn. Leiningen acknowledged his silent vote of confidence with a laugh that was half a grunt.

A few of the peons fell on their knees and began to pray; others, shrieking insanely, fired their revolvers at the black, advancing masses, as if they felt their despair was pitiful enough to sway fate itself to mercy. At the story’s end, Leiningen awakes while recovering from his injuries; his finals words before going to sleep are: Such, at least, was Leiningen’s opinion.

Then all at once he saw, starkly clear and huge, and, right before his eyes, furred with ants, towering and swaying in its death agony, the pampas stag. He eventually antss in by air enough garlic and butter to cook all the snails into escargot.

Leiningen Versus the Ants by Carl Stephenson

Jan 02, Marcia rated it really liked it. Despite the ferocity of the ants, Leiningen determines to wrap himself in petroleum rags and run two miles through the ants to get to the dam and breach it. Austrian-German author and publisher, not to be confused with the American historian Carl Stephenson That’s how he himself would look before you can–Leiningen spat once, and put spurs to his horse.


View all 3 comments. The Brazilian official threw up lean and lanky arms and clawed the air with wildly distended fingers.

Rachel Ninnette rated it it was ok Sep 24, And so imprisoned between water and fire, they had been delivered into the annihilation that was their god. They had removed their shirts and pants to detect the quicker the upwards-hastening insects; when they saw one, they crushed it; and fortunately the onslaught as yet was only by skirmishers. It’s not really a short story as my english teacher claims it to be. However, Leiningen realizes that his original principle of canals and damming can be put to use: Perhaps the ants weren’t so almighty, after all; perhaps he had allowed the mass suggestion of that evil black throng to hypnotize him, just as a snake fascinates and overpowers.

What Point of View Is “Leiningen Vs. the Ants” In?

Using a series of canals, ruses to draw the ants off course, and petroleum fires, the people and the ants engage in a days-long battle.

The twelve-foot water ditch seemed to afford in itself all the security needed. That same evening, however, Leiningen assembled his workers. After a time, though, a long procession could be seen bringing from the west the tamarind leaves used as rafts the day before.

When Leiningen heard this, he knew the plantation was doomed. A third rode away to summon to the zone of the offensive all the men, except the observation posts, on the near-by sections of the ditch, which were not yet actively threatened.


The men rushed away, without the slightest idea of his plan. The Brazilian rose heavily to his feet.

Leiningen Versus the Ants

They were just in time to aim a leiningn of petrol at a column of ants that had already crossed and drive them back down the incline into the ditch. And now cries of fury, a thudding of spades, and a wild trampling to and fro, showed that the ants had made full use of the interval, though luckily only a few had managed to get across.

And meanwhile Leiningen had made a discovery that chilled him to the bone-petrol was no longer flowing into the ditch. And now run along and get something to eat; you’ve earned it all right.

Leiningen Versus the Ants

The planter saw before him a motionless and unaltered throng of besiegers. In the agony of their torment, both sprang blindly into the wide river, where enemies no less sinister awaited them. Published first published December In six minutes–gnawed to the bones.

Apparently the salve was some use after all; not until he reached halfway did he feel ants under his clothes, and a few on his face. Dawn found a thoroughly refreshed and active Leiningen riding along the edge of the ditch.

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