Mail Order Ants

by Lisa Donovan

We got them.. The moment my son has been waiting for for weeks! Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm Company finally sent us our tube of ants. Tube of ants? When I opened the box, I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was certainly a little more than disturbed by the vile that the ants were crammed in, all half frozen from the recent winter weather we have been having. That would explain the note on the outside of the box: “It is perfectly natural for some ants to arrive dead”. Natural? God. I suppose it is natural to die if you have been shoved into a test tube with a hundred other ants to, then, die. But it begs the question, just how natural is it for a hundred ants to be reemed into a test tube together?

So, we read the directions. Apparently, if the ants get in a tizzy, you should just put them in the refrigerator or freezer for some time to calm then down. What? Ok. So, my throw-paint-on-$8000 fur coats- animal right-activist days are behind me but, I was starting to feel more than just sadness for these little guys who were showing great signs of stress and fear. I watched one actually try to bite the head off another who was taking up more room in the little test tube than he should have been - all shoved in there together just to be later shoved into a small ant “community” to pretend they were working for purpose instead of just working so they wouldn’t be killed or die from boredom or starvation.. It was ant holocaust. Horrifying.

I started to plea with Joseph - let’s just free them in the back yard! Let’s have an ant emancipation! Let’s find a home for them out side and let them do the work they were meant to do! Of course, this kind of mentality doesn’t appeal to a six year old. He had waited four weeks for these suckers and, damn it, he was going to shove them in a little ant box and watch them work - come hell or high water.

So, today we awoke to several dead ants and a slew of uninterested ants sitting around this ant “camp” basically just waiting to die. When we picked up the box that they are “living” in, they became quite agitated. My husband suggested we put them in the freezer but I said no. I figure maybe their rage might make them feel alive - and seeing them angry seems more their nature than sitting around like couch potatoes. Humans are weird. We yearn to see the beauty in nature yet, we manage to do a fair job of taking most of the beauty away. Sorry to be on a soapbox but it kind of pissed me off. A lot. Maybe someone should put me in a refrigerator for a few minutes………..

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This entry was posted on Friday, October 27th, 2006 at 9:37 am and is filed under Daily Living. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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