The Ant - by Older Son
June 21, 2006
The ant appeared while I was eating a firecracker on the deck.
Firecrackers, in case any unfortunate people have never heard of them, are the best popsicles in the world. They are made in three sections - red (cherry), white (lemon), and blue (raspberry, I think). Their shape is hard to describe - a bit like a firecracker, an iceberg, or the Empire State Building. That's easy to picture, isn't it? I was deprived of firecrackers for several long, sad years when the previous ice cream truck stopped coming. I am now making up for lost time. I order one (or two) every time the current ice cream truck passes our house. By now, I think the ice cream man asks me what I want more out of politeness than actually not knowing ...
I'm digressing, though. Anyway, I was eating the latest firecracker on the deck that day. It was a hot day, and the blue section of the firecracker had melted even more than usual by the time I reached it. As I was finishing the last few inches, a large drop of melted, neon-blue popsicle - mostly sugar - dripped off and landed on the deck. It ended up right in the path of a wandering red ant. She (for the non-insect-obsessed, all ants are female except the drones, who exist only to mate with the Queens and live only long enough to do so) wandered happily along, feeling around with her antennae - until she came to the drop.
She stopped dead.
Slowly and reverently, she walked up to the drop and touched it with her antennae.
Then she stuck her head into it... and stayed there for at least two or three minutes. The drop got smaller and smaller; the ant got larger and larger, and began turning blue.
She drank half the drop all by herself. It was larger than she was. I don't know where she put it all. Eventually, she withdrew her head and wobbled off across the deck, trying to lift her swollen abdomen off the ground and walk in a straight line. I'd never seen a tipsy ant before, but I think I have now...
I am fascinated by ants, so I loved this story! Thanks!
Posted by: Laurie | July 03, 2006 at 10:12 PM