Sunday, May 31, 2009

In which the family’s ethnic affiliations are laid bare

A few weeks ago, just as we were getting used to the summery warmth, just as we were getting used to waking in the mornings knowing that we wouldn’t need our winter jackets, the days where we lay newly awakened with half smiles, exulting that perhaps we could pack winter jackets away, we were visited. By ants. Big, jet-black ones—the kind we used to call “bully ants” in the home country.

And while I’m prone to getting a bit mommy tiger when they get too close to chubby (yet such delicate) baby extremities, I nevertheless wanted to be somewhat Mother Earth about finding a non-chemical way of warding them off. And after a week in which I did nothing, Big A showed up with ant traps. And then gave us a lecture on the proper usage of said traps.

“Do not kill any more ants,” he said. Hmm, I was thinking—may be these traps have shrill, high-frequency beeps to send the ants as far as possible from where we live with kids who wear as few clothes on as possible. No.

“You can’t kill the ants, because the way this works is that one ant is tempted by the bait and becomes covered in it. Then he has to go back to the ant colony so that the other ants can get poisoned too. That’s how the colony dies off.”

Li’l A and I are shocked:

This doesn’t feel wrong to you? It’s like giving them small-pox blankets.

Yeah, dad—it’s a genocide.

_

2 comments:

Vee said...

It's true. Exactly what I would've said too - genocide.

Maya said...

agreed!