Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Red Ants! They Are Ferocious!

One of the earliest memories I have as a child is when I was playing with one of my first childhood friends, Jason Vanzant. We had to be around 5 or 6 years old. Anyway, we were in the backyard of our house down at the end of Mahogeny Circle by the freeway in the old part of town. Our backyard was shaped like a giant wedge where the tip of the wedge was the furthest part of the yard away from our house, and was the only part of the yard that wasn't landscaped, or set aside as a play area.

Well, Jason and I were climbing one of the large trees in the far back. Jason and I were basically joined at the hip. We did everything together. Jason was older than me by a year, but I was a little more "in charge" of things as far as taking the lead on what we did and stuff like that.

Well, we were going through a stage where we liked to climb trees. Jason decided to give it a try first. So, he started shimmying up the tree to the first branch, which was a good 5 or 6 feet above the ground. This took some effort and I stood at the base of the tree giving my shoulders as a place for him to step. Well, as I stood there I noticed a small group of red ants. I don't remember why I had the idea that red ants were "killer ants," but for some reason I was afraid of the red ones and thought that they could eat through your flesh. I'm sure one of my older brothers talked me into that.

Anyway, Jason is dangling from this branch and is almost secure when all of the sudden I scream like a little girl "RED ANTS!!!" and I jumped back from the tree. This spooked Jason and he lost his hold on the branch and came falling down. He jumped up and was startled. "WHAT DID YOU SEE?" he asked, thinking that I had seen a large spider or a snake. I pointed at the tree and showed him the small group of red ants. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy that I had just made him fall from the tree over a couple of harmless red ants. Not only that but I think he ended up chipping a piece of his tooth off. I sure felt dumb and learned quickly that those red ants really were harmless.