It is not every day you meet a swarm, so when I did I decided to take a few photos. These little insects were swarming on the banks of our local river. They were very active, but were not doing any harm. They seemed to be having fun in their swarm and it is not an every day event.
Otherwise who likes swarms, no-one really – too much and too many. Dealing with hundreds and thousands is not as easy as dealing with one or two. The subject of this prompt reminded me of a very good book I once read by the german author Frank Schätzing. The name of the book was “The Swarm” in english (in German Der Schwarm). I first of all read the english version, then discovered the original was in German, so read that one as well in the original language. I was very much impressed by the book. It was about our oceans and their revenge on mankind. At the same time I wrote a sort of comparison between this book and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne, which I featured on a literature site I also belong to. Not wanting to bore everyone, I thought I could reapeat it here, with lack of anything else to say about swarms, except always have a fly swatter near you, especially in summer – they can be very useful in swarm combat.
So here we go.
“The original classic by Jules Verne was written at a time when discovery was a theme in the world. The book itself reads like a guide to marine life, combined with the existence of a submarine known as Nautilus constructed by Captain Nemo who decided to live his life under the sea, being disappointed with mankind and its ways of war and conquest. A detailed history of his problems is not included in the book, and just at the end with tears in his eyes he is seen looking a photo of his wife and children (we assume).Three men are castaway on the Nautilus, falling from a ship pursuing the Nautilus, a marine scientist and his footman and a harpooner who sees fish as a source of food and to be killed. His one ambition seems to kill some sort of whale or big fish that he has not yet killed. Captain Nemo has his own views of justice and does not object to his reluctant lodgers going on a trip in the depths of the ocean and viewing the mysteries of the seaworld. So we have a nice, perfect picture of life under the sea and everyone is happy, except for Captain Nemo who does not like humans. The seas and oceans are full of teaming healthy life.
Then we have Frank Shätzing in modern times where his book tells a story of the underwater world slowly being destroyed. Various sea creatures, worms and the like, begin to eat the continental plates endangering the security of the land. It goes as far that some countries are subject to floods and towns are covered by water. Mankind is threatened. After reading through the book (and I believe there is a film, although I have not seen it) it seems that a war is being fought between the marine animals and the humans. Looking at the situation we realise ourselves how we are abusing our seas and oceans. I am not a Green Peace person or revolutionary, but it is not difficult to see how some seas are being overfished. Everything is geared to feeding the population with cheaper variations of salmon and prawns and shrimps which seem to be growing up in sewer similar conditions, where the water is polluted and full of antibiotics to ensure that the production will continue. I don’t want to spoil the story, but when the various country governments decide to sort things out with businessmen and politicians which are in it for their own gain, then the catastrophe is programmed. The result is the revenge of the sea and thanks to the hero of the book things are sorted out.
Two books from two different centuries and after reading both, I realised how times have changed, For the better? I don’t think so, but we can hope. It was an interesting comparison.”
Hope I did not bore you, and here is another swarm – the crows are always swarming.