Mice Are Prophetic; Ants are Too : Aelian, Varia Historia 1.11

“Mice are also among the most prophetic of the animals. For, when a house has already become decrepit and is about to collapse, they perceive it and they abandon the mouse-holes within them and their earlier habits. They run off with whatever speed they can muster and settle elsewhere.

Ants, I have heard too, have a certain knowledge of prophecy. Whenever a famine is soon to develop, they work terribly hard at stockpiling food. They put aside a store of grain and the shells of seeds, all those things that ants eat for dinner.”

῏Ησαν δὲ ἄρα μαντικώτατοι τῶν ζῴων καὶ μύες. γηρώσης γὰρ οἰκίας ἤδη καὶ μελλούσης κατολισθάνειν αἰσθάνονται πρῶτοι, καὶ ἀπολιπόντες τὰς μυωπίας τὰς αὑτῶν καὶ τὰς ἐξ ἀρχῆς διατριβάς, ᾗ ποδῶν ἔχουσιν ἀποδιδράσκουσι καὶ μετοικίζονται.
῎Εχουσι δὲ καὶ οἱ μύρμηκες, ὡς ἀκούω, μαντικῆς τινα αἴσθησιν. ὅταν γὰρ μέλλῃ λιμὸς ἔσεσθαι, δεινῶς εἰσι φιλόπονοι πρὸς τὸ θησαυρίσαι καὶ ἑαυτοῖς ἀποταμιεύσασθαι τοὺς πυροὺς καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ τῶν σπερμάτων, ὅσα μυρμήκων δεῖπνόν ἐστιν.

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