Sunday, October 24, 2010

Anjali Discovers A World Full Of Ants

A couple of days ago Anjali went to the backyard to play. She came back screaming and crying in a short while pointing to her right foot which was red and swelling up. We soon discovered that she was bitten by an ant - a species she considered extremely harmless until then. Whatever ant bit her, carried quite a sting and that swelling lasted a couple of days, frequently reminding her of the hidden dangers of ants.

Anjali showing the colony of offending ants
The next day we ventured out to go to the park beside our house. The first twenty minutes was spent perilously negotiating ants of all sizes and shapes - harmless black ants scurrying about their work, mean red ants looking to get rid of their anger, big black ants - the world was suddenly full of them. It was like walking through a minefield for her as she pointed out to ants as we walked - cheema - or when inspired by English - ant. 'Carry me,' she commanded, soon as she discovered that she was hopelessly outnumbered, looking out from her perch in trepidation. How now?

Once we were on the road, she picked up courage and walked to the park. She went up and down the slide for a while and then decided to walk to her seesaw which is when she discovered ants flitting about in the grass. The normally one hour park sojourn was soon quickly cut down by half as Anjali discovered a world of ants running about, coming for her legs, not leaving her alone. I explained to her that the red ants bite and the small black ants are generally harmless and the big ants normally keep out of your way if you leave them alone. She listened carefully, repeated after me and insisted that we return to the safety of our house.

A lone ant scurried about at home. Anjali would gleefully attempt to murder the fellows earlier but now she watched it carefully and came running to tell me. 'Black ants don't bite na,' she confirmed before getting on with life.

Life must seem so different from her eyes, down below, close to the ground, with creatures she does not understand. But they show a great spirit of adventure in trying to climb, jump, scale and get a ringside view of life as it unfolds.


Rajendra said...

Teach her to call them aunty- that may help..or not.

Harimohan said...

Anties, the ones that bite, and aunties, the nice ones that don't. Bertie Wooster would subscribe to this surely.