This is for my friend and class mate Sonya. It is from my column Mellie's Musings and ran before I began posting my columns here.
There is always something to do outside. There always seem to be plenty of fire ants in this area. You can guess where this is going, because you probably have had your own experience. The scenario is familiar, you are experiencing the great outdoors and then you feel the burning sensation on your foot. You have been stung by a fire ant. This happened to me yesterday.
Closer inspection revealed the tiny beast. How is it that something so very tiny can hurt so badly? How is it that these tiny pests know exactly where the strap of your sandal will be? They know somehow, or they choose a place where the sting will be noticeable to everyone. Their microscopic brains know the exact spot to inflict the most damage.
Perhaps their brain power should be harnessed to do good rather than harm. Imagine if that ability could predict when and where a storm would hit, think of the lives that could be saved! Think of the problems that could be solved, if only we could harness that power.
Once in school, my friend Sonya and I decided that we needed to investigate these evil pests further. We each carried a jar to school and scooped some fire ants from the playground, into the jar. We were going to take notes and watch what these ants did. We would be the ones to solve the fire ant problem for the world. The next day when we talked, we were both discouraged because our mothers would not let us bring the jars into the house. This event may have ended a career in science for the dynamic duo of Sonya and Melanie, now the world will never know what discoveries we would have made about fire ants, thanks to our Mothers refusing to allow us to examine these pests in the comfort of our homes. Just think of the impact of 8 year old minds would have had on this problem. We did move on to other intriguing ideas or mischief rather.
Fire ants are still a problem; however I now understand why our mothers would not welcome them in the house. We did not manage to solve that problem, but continue to live in a world where the fire ants know exactly where the strap of your sandal will be, so that they can leave their mark.