People for the Ethical Treatment of Ants.
They should be knocking down my door, they should be following me on my weekly pilgrimages to Target, harassing me all the way. They should be throwing educational fliers in my direction whenever they get the chance. They should be on the other side of the fence, cowering in my neighbor's yard when they are at work, shouting "free the ants" to me and my kids. They should be sending me tons of spam emails and calling my home at all hours of the night, reminding me that "ants have feelings too".
Because one of my children (who is male but whom shall remain nameless) has taken to snacking on these little critters.
Yup. One of my sons thinks it's funny. He thinks carpenter ants are tasty.
I haven't figured out yet if this is due to his extreme fondness of the movie How to Eat Fried Worms, or the fact that I let him watch Man vs. Wild one too many times. Whichever the case, last week his brother (of course) informed me that he'd eaten an ant. Willingly. No bribes were involved. No dares were taken. He simply ate an ant.
Figuring it was a one time deal, I chose to ignore this little gem of boyhood exploration and shoved all the images of the act itself waaaaaaaaay back in my mind, hoping to never deal with it again.
But silly me, a few days later, he ate another one.
At which point an intervention was necessary.
"You know that on Man vs. Wild, Bear Grylls (who mommy thinks is quite yummy!) tells us that the things he does on the show are strictly done in order to survive and in NO WAY should a person attempt to do these things unless he/she is in a life or death situation" or something like that, went my lecture.
"Eating ants is gross."
"You are not in a survival situation, therefore you should not be eating ants."
"That's just gross!"
I remember being about that same age, and playing "ho-bo" with a neighborhood friend (we - being little kids and not very politically correct - would pack up some food in a bandanna and tie it to the end of a stick before setting out on a long "journey", you know, to the end of the street). Along the way, we passed by several gardens and a few fruit trees where we would pluck some "treats" to put in our "ho-bo" sack. We'd occasionally grab a horsetail and drink the "milk" out of it, but that is as exotic as it got.
Although I'm sure we stepped on many an ant during our childhood, we never thought to pick one up and eat it! As if!
It isn't like I've raised a couple of kids who don't appreciate nature and every living thing in it either. They like bugs, they make homes for them and name them and feed them (until they die).
So where this crazy, I'm gonna eat all the ants in the world!, behavior is stemming from, I have no idea.
All I know that no ant is safe until this little phase (dear god, please let it be a little phase) passes.
And in the meantime, I'll be on the lookout for the People For The Ethical Treatment of Ants.
Dogs eating slugs . . . boys eating ants . . . it doesn't get any better than this!