What are they eating?

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.


  1. cricketB

    Margarine was invented as turkey feed, but had so little nutrition they found another use for it. (And the original margarine, while lacking the stuff they knew was bad for hearts was chock-full of something worse.) Artificial sweeteners are just as bad. My SIL’s psychiatrist only lets her eat one type.

    Meanwhile, I’ve put off creating ant-bait (borax and icing sugar in hose bits) long enough. I’m going to dip Doritos in borax instead.

    1. philangelus

      I can’t have Nutrasweet. It gives me monster headaches and makes my lips go numb. However much sugar is in regular sugar, it can’t possibly be worse.

      That’s interesting about margarine. I knew there was a reason I preferred butter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Mary Nicewarner

    I guess the ants weren’t interested in red lake # 40. Fuut nax send my daughter running to the bathroom! She still wants them and insists on trying them every 6 months or so to see if things have changed. I’m kinda glad that things haven’t changed ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. philangelus

      Mary, good to see you again! You’re scaring me: for the first time ever, we’ve seen red ants in our lawn. I wonder if…could it be…


      The Finding Nemo fuut nax are the absolute worst. This is a family-friendly weblog, but suffice it to say, my children do not eat them. We buy the Welches ones by the hundred-weight, though. :-b

  3. MNdragonlady

    At least the Welch’s ones claim to use 100% fruit juice in them. Who knows what’s in the other ones. ๐Ÿ™‚ Does your area have the Florida’s Natural brand? They’re almost completely real fruit puree and juice. They’re not as large and squishy as the fuut nax; more like little pellets of squished fruit. Quite tasty.

    Oh, and recently the Fruit roll-up people have started making something called “Simply Fruit” that’s mostly actual fruit as well. I’m hoping they figure out a way to come up with some fruit snacks in the same vein. Don’t know how widely available those are; we live in a test area for that company.

    1. philangelus

      I’ll definitely keep my eye out for the Florida Natural ones–I’ve never seen them around here, but I may not have been looking hard enough.

      Frankly, I’d rather my kid eat the fruit, but it doesn’t come in a brightly-colored crinkly package, so no joy yet. :-b (That is to say, he’ll eat oranges or apples (a “red” or a “green,” but he still prefers the fuut nax.)

      1. MNdragonlady

        I’m with you on the fruit. My older two eat fruit pretty well, but the younger two are still stuck on just one or two options. ๐Ÿ˜› I’m hoping that since we keep putting it in front of them, one day the light bulb will go on and they’ll prefer the real thing over the cartoon characters. Here’s hoping.

        Of course, next time I pull a box off the shelf at the store, I’m sure I’ll be reminded of your story about the ants, and I’ll have to replace the box. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. philangelus

          It didn’t stop me today. I bought the Florida Natural fuut nuggets.

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