I Haven’t Killed Them Yet

Our last episode ended with a cliffhanger – and I am sure that most of you have been on the edge of your seats for two days, wondering if I managed to snuff out my new, mail-order ant colony – or if Wonderbutt had taken care of the job for me.  You will be happy to know that the ants are still alive, all but one, in a temporary home that once contained Vitamin Zero water (lemonade flavor, which, quite frankly, is not my favorite anyway).  I successfully refrigerated them for half an hour and transferred them with great ceremony to their new home by opening their tube and allowing them to tumble into the bottle.  My daughter, Dimples, was completely unimpressed by the whole event, as the mouth of the bottle was wide enough for me to discharge the whole mass of numb ants at once instead of having to scoot one at a time through a tiny opening like I will have to do when I move them to the farm.  Which begs the question of, “Why are ant farms deliberately manufactured to hinder the initial entrance of ants, thus making classroom teachers everywhere hop onto their desks screeching as the crazed insects swarm away from the minute opening on the ant farm and race across the table and down its legs so they can, instead, crawl up inside the more hospitable pants of the humans who attempted to imprison them for their own amusement?”  It’s one of life’s unsolved mysteries.

Here is a picture of the ants in their Vitamin Zero bottle.  I poked a tiny hole in the top to give them air.  Even though the tube they arrived in had no such hole that I could discern.  But I seem to have read somewhere that even insects need air.  Then I was worried that the ants would find a way to squeeze out of the hole.  So, I came up with the ingenious idea of putting a duct tape force field around the cap, so they would stick to it if they got that far.  In retrospect, that might be perceived as a bit cruel and probably somewhat paranoid.  The hole is the size of a pinprick, and these ants are huge.  But insects are tricky little creatures, and I figured it couldn’t hurt to be cautious.

You can see the dead ant smack dab in the middle. His companions were kind enough to bury him, but I missed the ceremony.

Wonderbutt got jealous as I was taking pictures of the ants (as soon as he hears camera sounds, he comes running), so I decided to let him take a peek at the bottle.

Mmmm. This looks like a tasty treat…

Is my food moving?

Watcha doin’ in there?

He quickly lost interest once he detected no delicious smells and observed that the ants were far too industrious for his taste.  Though they do share his stubborn ability to bulldoze large objects out of their way, ants do not seem to appeal to Wonderbutt, so they should be safe for a couple of days.

I will take the ants to school on Monday, and the students will help me set up their new habitat.  Then, they will watch in awe as I show them the right way to move ants who have been refrigerated for an appropriate amount of time into an ant farm.  Then the parents will call the school that afternoon as they receive reports of their child’s teacher spewing a few ill-chosen words while the ants rebelled and hastily converged on the humans gathered around the new containment unit.  Good times…

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Posted on October 27, 2012, in Dogs, Humor, Wonderbutt and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. I do the same thing as Wonderbutt – come running when I hear camera sounds. But my person hasn’t given me any ants to play with. They’re all outside.

  2. Can you make a paper funnel for the transfer?

  3. You should individually “momma bird” WAC ant, by mouth, into the tiny opening!!!

  4. Good luck! I’m not surprised they have survived this long

  5. After you have taught the students about ant antics, what comes next?

  6. Watching ants makes me itchy.

  7. i’ve learned a lot these last two posts. mainly: do not order ants. that’s why i send my kids to school.

    • If you can get them into the ant farm, it’s well worth it. It will get at least 15 minutes of your kids’ undivided attention. That’s time you could spend on your next blog post!

  8. Yes, was hanging on the edge of my seat – anxiously awaiting the ant update 😀
    The bottle seems to be doing the trick well and I can’t wait to find out how the chaos goes in the classroom 🙂

  9. “…their child’s teacher spewing a few ill-chosen words while the ants rebelled…” – Video please!

    Good luck on Monday… 🙂

  10. I really wish I had had a teacher like you… Such dedication to the cause!

  11. I wish i was a student with you, the things you are willing to put yourself threw to engage young minds!! Good luck!

  12. They’re alive, yay!! Seriously, good luck today. Why on earth do they make those ant farm entries so small, it’s a farm for goodness sake. Hoping for no ants in pants on your lovely Monday! 🙂

  13. This is precisely why I DO NOT want Tony having an ant farm, regardless of the begging I’ve been living through. Kudos to you for being brave enough to try. I’m going to give this to Tony the next time he begs!

  14. GInger wants to know why Wonderbutt didnt try to gas them……

  1. Pingback: I am Not Ms. Frizzle, and this is Definitely Not the Magic School Bus « whatimeant2say

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