Kiddo#3 came to me rather excited. “You have to see what they’re doing!”
They were ants. In a rare moment of insanity, I’d allowed the kids to have a snack-sized bag of Doritos while playing outside, and a tiny triangle of Dorito had fallen onto the driveway. Kiddo#3 noticed it when he biked past a mound of ants.
We squatted on the driveway for a while, watching the ants cover the Dorito. We traced the column of ants back to their entry way and noticed the ants carrying neon orange blobs of cheesy salty goodness in their mandibles. We talked about how the ants would carry the food down into their nest and everyone would share it. Within ten minutes, the whole thing was gone.
All well and good. I live in the swamp, so it’s not unusual for me to take apple cores out of the car and throw them into the brush outside our house. When we first moved here, we found someone’s lunch in a ceramic bowl: a chicken drumstick and some rice. I dumped it under a tree and brought the bowl inside. An hour later I returned to clean up the food, and nothing remained.
We have fisher cats, weasels, hawks, dogs, cats, snakes, and I’m told sometimes a bear wanders around. We have pansy-eating rabbits, chipmunks, pheasants, wild turkeys–it’s like paradise for this Brooklyn Girl.
Kiddo#4 loves fruit snacks. Not actual fruit (heavens, no!) but those rubberized gel things that are molded into the shape of fruit and soaked in dye. He calls them “Fuut nax,” and to my chagrin, they’ve become something of a staple.
He’s also not very neat when he eats, and one of them landed on the driveway in the vicinity of the ant colony. Again, we discovered it when the ants had covered the red fruit snack.
The next day, I returned to find the ants still covering the fruit snack, but the fruit snack itself unchanged. Odd.
The day after, it was still there. Pitted, but largely the same as the moment it had come from the package.
On the third day, I guess a squirrel must have carried it off because it was gone, and the ants have been quiet. And in the meantime, Kiddo#4 comes to me and says, “I wann a fuut nax,” and as I hand it over, I wonder what I’m feeding him.