Looking again at the picture of “Ant” from my post the other day, you might have noticed it’s familiar surroundings. If you did, you would be forgiven for thinking this is a strange garden ornament for me to buy.
My relationship with ants will never be a happy one, after my encounter I would quite literally cross the road to walk on the opposite pavement if confronted by an ants nest. I remember walking out of a chipshop at one time and being hungry because a young boy was teasing his sister with an ant on his finger and I couldn’t watch. One particularly strange summer I was confined to the house for three days as our town was hit by swarms of flying ants.
Then the “mum thing” happened. It didn’t happen overnight, but somehow I changed from the little scared mouse that I was, I realised that I had a responsibility to these tiny little beings. I was to put my fears aside and risk life and limb to protect them if necessary. I was still the little mouse, that didn’t change, but I realised that if these little people needed me to, I could scare away elephants.
I tried not to show my own fears, going out of my way to confront them with the girls so they wouldn’t find them crippling as I once had. We sat on the grass for picnics, we went to the dentist. We ran through dark places making loud noises and we braved small pavements next to busy traffic.
At one point, to my horror, Middle Daughter sat down in an ants nest during a picnic. I’m sure the hair standing up on the back of my neck was visible from across the park, but somehow I did the “mum thing” and brushed them off of her with my bare hands.
Ants are not allowed in my house, I will suffer them in my garden now, but every little crack under the skirting board or around the window frames has been blocked up, filled with a squirt of Bath sealant (my magic fixer for many a problem).
As for the new resident in my garden. I bought him in Palma, Mallorca, they seem to have a fascination there with ants, the hot weather I guess, I’m glad I didn’t actually notice any, but this little fella with his happy smile caught my attention so I brought him home.
More from before : Goings on in “my garden“.