The small ants – light red, turning to orange, maybe to brown, in certain lights or on certain segments of their bodies – which crawled up my hands and fingers as we baited and re-baited the Sherman traps; these small biting creatures which on the last day fruitlessly stung my gloves as I rapidly and easily whisked the honey and oats out, whisked as many ants as I could out, folded the trap shut and placed it into a canvas bag such that an additional 30-35 could be held within. These little ants whose bites or stings burned much more than the larger ants’ did, the redder ants’ did. These ants who could make their home in a newly burnt field where no mammals had yet returned. These annoying little soldiers. Annoying little heroes. Annoyingly brave and self-sacrificing.
I like these little ants.