The second important character we’re introduced to here is “ a kind of ant” whose anthill colonies are “special to the history” being related in this novel.
Raff, at a young age, begins learning from his encounters with these characters. His attempt to shake hands with a cottonmouth leaves a deep impression on him, and the description of that meeting with the cottonmouth recalls his search for the Chicobee Serpent and his run-in with the Frogman. As Raff explores this world of Nokobee and its many characters, in particular the creatures of the anthill, it seems they’re already influencing how he sees the world of people he grew up with.
But at this point in the book, it might be just as interesting to ask whether Raff’s circle of human acquaintances, his experiences with people, may have influenced how he sees the wild world of Nokobee. How much of what he sees in ants is colored by the people and social circumstances he grew up with? How much of what you see of nature is affected by your dealings with people?
Is it useful to see the people and the wild species of Nokobee as similar, so that the actions of one can illuminate the actions of the other? Are there limits and cautions if we try to make these comparisons?