Written especially for my sweet little friend Ember
May 11, 2019
I met Mr. Ant in back of my new house yesterday. An ant you say? Yes, a big fire ant. You see he was rafting down a giant rapid next to the curb. After a big rainstorm the dirt from my Mama’s new lot at The Crescent had washed onto the street creating a tiny canyon of dirt. Water flowing down the dirt canyon provided a perfect river for ant rafting. Mr. Ant was just free falling down the river when all of a sudden he clung to a tiny stone and crawled out onto dry concrete. I asked Mr. Ant where he was going. The ant said that he was about to go down into the gutter to gather all his other ant friends who had washed down the drain. Mr. Ant said they were going to the Grand Canyon. They would hike to the nearest train yard, hop aboard and they’d be at the Grand Canyon in no time at all. Mr. Ant decided on the Grand Canyon because it was supposed to be dry there. Arriving at the Grand Canyon they hiked all the way to the bottom only to find water! Water? We are tired of water. Mr. Ant assembled all his people and they hopped aboard another train and headed out to Tennessee to hike the Appalachian Trail. He had heard the trail stretched between Georgia and Maine. Because he had relatives in Tennessee he decided to pick the trail up in Tennessee. So off they went on a long train ride. They found a cozy boxcar on the train that previously held all sorts of food items. There were crumbs everywhere so no worries about food. Upon their arrival in Tennessee all the ant cousins greeted them. What a feast the cousins threw for those Texas ant cousins. It was a sight to behold. Breadcrumbs, crackers, but best of all was the watermelon! Yum!
The next day Mr. Ant and his group were off to hike the Appalachian Trail. They encountered the tallest trees they had ever seen. Over the rocks and mountains they went. Such beauty they had never seen. And best of all not too much water. Nice easy creeks where they could float peacefully on a leaf if they wanted. They hiked all the way to Maine finding so much fun along the way. Beautiful birds, lizards, animals, flowers and lots of fun thinks to do. The most interesting thing they saw were the synchronous fireflies in the mountains at night near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. They encountered these mysterious fireflies at the start of their trip in Tennessee on the Appalachian Trail. You see, most fireflies just blink on and off but this group blink all at once and go dark all at once. They are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns. A beautiful little mystery the Lord created.
The ants arrived in Maine and found that winter had arrived. There was too much snow and much to cold. Since they had spent their summer on the Appalachian Trail they had not prepared for winter. They could have bunked up with ant cousins there in Main but they hesitated to impose. They took a vote and decided to hop another train for Key West, Florida. They had heard Key West would be a great place to stay the entire winter. Ah, the cool breeze from the ocean and lots of restaurants. No we don’t eat in the restaurants but there are plenty of crumbs to be found nearby. But we were told to watch out for the iguanas. Scary big lizards! Yikes. We’ll stick together and we’ll be fine. We sent out worker ants who were able to find tiny bits of wood from which we made tiny chairs. As a group we worked hard all day but were finally able to drag those chairs down by the beach. We discovered with a bit of teamwork we could fashion an umbrella from a tiny shard of bark and then cover it with a bit of moss. Ah, Florida and wonderful breezes to just sit back and relax for a while. What an adventure the past several months have been. However the ants have voted to return to Beaumont. So off we go to find a train bound for Beaumont, Texas and our home in The Crescent. It’s always fun to travel, but as they say, “there’s no place like home”.