I told my husband and friend last night about my attempt to save ants.
I read a book when I was around eight about these children who were shrunk down to ant size. The red ants were after them and the black ants were the children’s friends, taking the kids in and protecting them.
I spent a long time that summer out on the street curb smashing every red ant I could find in order to help those tiny kids survive.
After the story, my husband said something that perfectly sums up the child I was (and sometimes still am).
‘You really had no concept of ‘fiction’ did you?’
6 thoughts on “Ants and Fiction”
I have an ant story of my own! Do you think that’s a common “thing” for kids? Mine wasn’t story-motivated, but rather weather-inspired. One rainy day, my mother discovered me hauling dirt into the basement in my little wheelbarrow (I think I was 4 at the time). I’d appropriated a shovel and, having found an ant colony, dug up as much of it as I could and proceeded to haul more dirt than ants inside. She asked me what I was doing and I said I was saving the ants from the rain. She made me take it all back outside.
Poor ants. Get their hopes up that they’re out of the rain, and then dash them when you haul them back outside.
I seem to recall that I felt like I’d betrayed them! Half the time I don’t think my mother knew what to do with me — I was always “rescuing” critters that could have done just fine if I’d left them alone (dead mice, birds, chipmunks, etc that the cat caught, almost dead mice, birds, chipmunks that the cat caught, neighbors’ cats that had perfectly good homes …. Once, I found a baby robin that had fallen out of its nest. Brought it home and we put it in a box on top of the stove & fed it. Amazingly enough, it survived. My dad used to take it outside and dig worms for it. The bird’s name was Robin Hood, of course, and he’d come when you called him).
Robin Hood! Perfect name. Reminds me of the time I caught the child trying to open the back door to let Mr. Bear come in out of the rain. You know, as I think about it, you’re still rescuing critters, just more of the feline variety now.
From our short conversations and reading a few of your blogs, I just don’t see you in Shirley Temple curls. Love this story.
Oh, I’d pull them out as soon as I got to school and tell my mother that it was windy in the playground. Now I’m doing good if I remember to brush my hair. Not that I can tell the difference.
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