My Ants Froze in the Name of Science

Science has never been my favorite thing. As a child, I enjoyed it sure. But that was because of the vivid pictures, the diverse animals…and the little stories told us to keep little minds engaged. You know the ones – “and the ants made a condiminium below the surface of the earth and built farms and had pets and milked them and have a queen – whom I always imagined was regal and tall, with jewel- encrusted attenae – so when you kill an ant, you are basically crippling an economy.”

I think I made that last bit up, but you know how it is with science and embellishing – so much more interesting that way. I knew that at seven years old.

Actually, that type of science intrigued my romantic, story-telling soul, so I decided that for my 14th birthday, I wanted an ant farm. Since my birthday is during the end of fall, and the weather is extremely chilly, I got the farm but had to wait for the ants to ship until the summer.

Sooo, June or thereabouts , the big day had finally arrived. The ants had come in a gloriously, scientifical-looking test-tube, and I had read the accompanying instructions carefully.

“Place ants in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, no more, no less, so they can acclimate to your climate.” Being engrossed in setting up the farm, I asked my six year old brother to put them in the fridge, but just then we were called for supper.

Supper was blithe and joyful. My ants were here, the sun was shining, and I had made up an outrageously creative story to accompany my ants – the Queen had been dethroned, and she and her faithful followers had been shipped away by the evil Lord Antonio to the frozen wastelands of Siberia.

Bolting down my food, I ran to the fridge, flung the door open, and reached to grab…my ants? Okay, not in front of the milk, which was the normal placement of choice for my brother. All right, behind the lettuce? Under the apples? Surely, behind the butter plate…

No. Dread in my heart, I turned slowly towards my brother, who was happily stuffing an entire biscuit down his throat. Whole.

“Ben,” I said in an ominously quiet voice. “Where are my ants?”

He gulped contentedly and said, “Dem inna da feezer.”

I was willing to accept that. “Thanks. Dem inna da feez…THE FREEZER?!”

I threw open the freezer door, yanked out an ice-crystallized test tube, and stared at my ants, who were lying in frozen, fetal positions. Hopelessly, I shook the tube. They clinked.

I took them outside, in the dim hope that the dead could be restored by balmy air and sunshine. Nothin’. Well, maybe they just needed to move around a little bit. I dumped them into the ant farm…and they clinked and clanked their way to the bottom, where they lay in a metallic heap of frozen spheres.

You know how cannon balls look?

Yeah. My ants were even denser. Although, I did get my first introduction to true irony, which my melancholy, English-loving soul somewhat appreciated.

A lot died that day – 15 ants, my love of science…and, my little brother.

Almost. He recovered. Unlike the ants.

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About loverofwords20

Allison is an aspiring author, and a lover of words, music, and the Lord Jesus Christ. She is also abysmal at these “about you” things, being unable to think of quirky characteristics at the drop of a hat. However, she enjoys singing randomly and loudly, and laughing hysterically while being caught in the rain.
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2 Responses to My Ants Froze in the Name of Science

  1. ewhit13@att.net says:

    Perhaps dipped in chocolate they could have become a menu experiment rather than a science experiment. You are soooo talented. Thank you for including me in your posts. Mr. Whit

  2. That’s a thought – I shall have to try it in my world travels in the far and distant future. 😉 Thanks, Mr. Whitford. As always, your encouragement means so much!

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