It started, as so many tales within our home begins, not with, once upon a time, but with, "A cat puked."
I have friends who have many such stories. The worst, darkly funny, belongs to Traci. Her cat wailed to get out in the middle of the night. Storming to the front door, Traci muttered at the cat, "Okay, there are coyotes out there and I hope to hell one doesn't get you but if they do, it's your own fault. I tried to save you but you wouldn't listen." She jerked open the door. Her final step came down. Her heel found the cat vomit and she lost traction. Traci flew into the air and landed on the tiled foyer, cracking her head. That meant a trip to the hospital, a shorn section of head, and seven stitches. Funny and tragic, since she was hurt, funny in the dry, self-deprecating way Traci relates the events.
But our story, after beginning with cat vomit, continues with ants in the master bathroom. The vomiting had taken place while we were out enjoying the 4th. Ants found it quickly.
We have a no kill policy. About the only thing exempted from it are beetles in the garden. Beetles in the garden calls for DEFCON 1 and then my wife launches hostilities.
But we had no reason to kill the ants. What was required was to break their path. We used Windex for the purpose, spraying around the ants' paths to created a blockade. However, we could not clean up the vomit until the ants evacuated.
Enter the ginger bear. He is less concerned about no kill policies. He fancies himself a warrior, the Ginger Lord, and sets out to prove his mettle. Want a fight? He'll give it.
He pays not attention to where he steps and stepped on an ant, killing it.
The dead ant drew a crowd of other ant, busy comparing notes with their antennae. Characters emerged as they displayed different reactions. It struck us how human they seemed. One rushed up from the distance, broke through the crowd, whirled and took off. He went so fast, wife and I laughed. His behavior made us imagine we could hear little screaming. But after rushing several inches away, he slowed, then stopped.
What's he doing, wife and I asked each other.
He turned. He's going back, we realized.
The crowd around the body had thinned.
He approached it slowly, clearly dealing with an unpleasant chore. Who was this ant to him that he was so cautious? Reaching the dead body, he checked out the deceased with a lot of antenna action. Apparently something was confirmed for he then whirled and rushed away.
This time he didn't stop.
Why was he hurrying? Where was he going? Was he a reporter for the Ant Post, rushing back to report the story? Heading back to warn the Queen, one has died, withdraw the troops, bring them home?
We don't know. We can't read ant thoughts yet.
When will someone invent such a machine?
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com