The Ants Go Marching On

When I was a kid, my brother, mother, and I would go to the pool every day during summer. We would meet up with my mom’s friend’s family and all play together. At the pool we couldn’t be in the water during designated lifeguard breaks. During the first break I would leave some food in the grass with the hopes of attracting ants; it always worked. By the time I came back during the next break, many ants would be taking away bits of my gift. They would form single file lines to and away from it. I was always amazed at how many ants there were, how fast they dissembled the grub, and how much a little ant could carry. Sometimes an ant didn’t get to carry anything so I would break off a different piece of food and put it on his back so the ant could be a hero to the nest. Later in the day I would put a large piece of chow directly in the ants’ path and watch the confusion that would ensue. Should they take the old or new? They would always scramble on top of the new gift feeling it with their antennae. Some ants chose to take the fresh food while others took their original score. Whenever I would come back, there would always be even more ants breaking down my gifts. I had to be careful to not make the pieces too large for fear that my mother and her friends might notice the ants and throw away the food. When did I stop playing this little game? When I stopped going to the pool. Today if I were to have a picnic, I would still break off some food and wait for the ants to march to and fro.

2 thoughts on “The Ants Go Marching On”

  1. To be perfectly honest, I did this too. It drove my family crazy because I was bringing ants (a pest) into our human, pest-free zone that was our house. I thought this was really well written! If you have to expand (for class or for pleasure) I’d explore the pool as a natural/unnatural thingy.

  2. This is a really cool entry and it reminds me of something similar. I did the opposite of what you did by making sure no ants entered our home. One summer when I was young, it was part of my chore list to weed the flower beds around the house. This got really tedious after a few weeks so I decided to have some fun with it by destroying ant hills that were near the house. It was probably mean spirited to do this, but I felt like I was “protecting” the house somehow.

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