A couple of months ago, we got a tiny ant farm for $1.00 at Target. It has green gel inside, and the instruction sheet says that the ants will use the gel to burrow in as well as for food. Once the ants are in, we don't have to open the lid again until they're dead. Pretty morbid, but whatever. They're ants, right?
We went out and captured a few of the small ants that are constantly in the cracks of the sidewalk behind the house. We were walking the dog when we took our ant hostages, and by the time we were halfway around the block, I noticed that a couple of the ants had escaped through the air holes. We let the others go and I told the pumpkinhead that we would try to find some bigger ants that can't fit through those holes.
During the past week or so, I've started seeing these ants in my kitchen. They show up here every spring when the weather heats up. Disgusting, I know. No matter how clean I keep the counters and floors, they come in looking for something good to eat. They're getting bolder this year. They normally hang out on the counter that runs along an outside wall. This year they're in my pantry, on the opposite side of the kitchen from their usual haunt on the counter.
For a few days, I'd been smashing them when I saw them crawling around in the pantry. Then tonight I realized that they seem to be large enough for the ant farm. I brushed four of them into the box and snapped the lid shut. A life sentence instead of the immediate death penalty their little ant friends got. We watched them crawl around their little prison cell while we ate dinner.
Well, ants will be ants.
They found the air holes and started plotting their escape. The smallest one made it out of the vent, but was caught in the razor wire on the perimeter fence (the pumpkinhead's razor-sharp squeals when she saw it crawling down the outside of the box) and was shot down by the sharpshooters (my finger). The remaining three ant prisoners witnessed this episode from inside their transparent cell, so I thought they might be on their best behavior for a while. No. Within a few minutes, another one tried the same escape route. Not smart. This ant was larger than the previous escapee. His abdomen was too large for the hole. He was stuck. Like Chuck. We watched him for a while, then I got out the cameras.
He struggled and struggled. His cellmates came over to investigate, and even sniffed around the other two air holes. They saw the danger, though, and wisely didn't try it. After I took a few pictures and we got tired of watching the little ant flail his little ant legs in vain, I took the whole ant farm to the back yard and granted all of them clemency. You're free to go. Just don't show up in my pantry again. And tell your friends to stay away, too.