5. The Island of the Ants


THEY DRIFTED AIMLESSLY for three days and nights, with no sign of land.
But early on the morning of the third day, before the sun had risen, they could hear a sound from the northeast.

“It is the voice of waves against the shore,” said Máel Dúin.

When the sun rose and the day brightened, they rowed towards the noise and soon seeing an island, approached the shore.

Lots were cast among the crew to decide which of them should explore the strange land; but even as they were making ready to leave the boat, a great swarm of ants appeared, and every ant was the size of a horse.

They swarmed down to the beach, into the very sea, and they were agitated: it was clear that they were intent on devouring both the men and their boat.
Máel Dúin and his men were alarmed; the ants were almost on them, and so they turned their vessel and with both oar and sail made as much speed as they could, away from the island.

For three more days and nights they did not seek rowing; and for all this time, there was no sight of land.

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