We went on a walk and the trail we were on opened to a lake and across the water a giant alligator was sitting in the sun. The kids were ahead and called to the rest of us and the alligator slipped into the water. We all stood watching to see if it would reappear. Then my one niece looked down at her sister’s shoes and pointed and screamed her name. She was standing on an ant hill and you couldn’t see her shoes for all the red ants crawling all over them. They looked like those close up shots of bees rolling all over each other in a hive.
Not to brag, but I sprung to action like a superhero! Like Flash or Aquaman or maybe like one of the cooler ones, but I grabbed her and lifted her up and brought her over and sat her on the railing of the path we were on. My problem was, and quick as all this happened I really did have this distinct thought, because of how much the ants had looked like bees, I thought once I got her off the ant hill the ants would all drop off her shoes and return to their home. Bees do that. Bees will leave you alone if you distance yourself from their hive. That’s bees. These were ants.
Fortunately my two sisters were also superheroes. While I held Tessa up on the railing, they pulled off her shoes and socks and made sure her legs were clear of ants. They both got bit but Tessa didn’t get bit once. On the way home, I talked about how cool it was the way we all contributed to saving Tessa, and her older sister said, “Except for me, I didn’t do anything.”
I said, “What? You were the one who spotted the ants! If it wasn’t for you, those ants would have been up to her neck before anyone noticed.” I probably shouldn’t have said that, come to think of it, but Tessa recovered so well from the trauma, it seemed to go over okay.