“We are so hungry,” Little William and Little Betty Ant said to their Aunty Ant. “Let’s go to the park. I saw a family with a big picnic basket headed that way. They had three small children with them. Small children spill lots of food – good food – sweets.”
The Brown family made up of Cate, age four; Lauren, age six; and Debbie, age seven; decided it was such a beautiful day that they would go on a picnic. “Children, you know the last time we tried, carpenter ants invaded our picnic with such a vengeance that we had to come back home,” Mrs. Brown said. “Carpenter ants love sweets so we have to be extra careful not to spill food.”
Cate, Lauren and Debbie promised to be extra careful not to spill food.
“I think if we place some ice cream just off the picnic blanket, the ants will eat that and leave us alone,” Debbie the seven year old wisely said.
“I saw two ants talking in my first grade reader,” Lauren said. “I’ll think we might just explain the ice cream off the blanket is for them.”
“I volunteer to explain to them about the ice cream,” Cate said. “I’ll tell them the last time we were here our mother cancelled the picnic. I am sure they will cooperate.”
Once at the picnic Debbie, without her mother knowing, place a strawberry ice cream cone just off the edge of the picnic blanket.
Cate, keeping an eye on the ice cream soon spotted two carpenter ants headed toward the ice cream. “Hi, what’s you name Mr. Ant?” Cate asked the boy ant.
“I’m not a mister,” answered the ant with a bit of sarcasm. “I am Little William and this is my sister Little Betty. The big ant over there is our Aunty Ant. She is 26 years old and not able to gather her own food so we take her food.”
“Oh! I’ll take her an ice cream,” Cate responded. “What kind of ice cream does she like?”
“She prefers meat – do you have a hotdog?” Little Betty said, smiling at Cate, Lauren, and Debbie.
“We have lots of hotdogs,” Lauren said. “I’ll carry it over there for you.”
“Oh! No!” Little William Said. “Little Betty and I can carry it as we are very strong so we can carry it ourselves. “Aunty likes mustard on her hot dog. Do you have mustard?”
About that time Mrs. Brown looked over and shouted, “What are you three doing? What is that ice cream doing on the ground? Look! Two ants are carrying off a hotdog. Help me gather up the basket, we’re moving to a new spot.”
“But Mother,” Cate said. “They just have one cone of ice cream and one hotdog. Let’s wait. Since we shared with them, I believe they will allow us to eat in peace.”
“Mother, look at their elderly aunt,” Debbie said. “Without us she would not have enough food. In people years, she would be 104 years old.”
Cate ran to Little William and Little Betty when they set the hotdog down to rest. “Will you promise to let us eat in peace so we don’t have to move? If you will I’ll get your Aunty Ant a spoonful of mustard.”
“That’s a deal Cate, Lauren, and Debbie,” said Little William and Little Betty with one voice. “Look, our Aunty Ant is nodding her head and smiling.”
“Look, Mother has placed the food basket back on the blanket,” Cate shouted. “We’re staying.”
Looking around Mrs. Brown noticed the ants were gone, also the ice cream, hotdog, and mustard. Cate, Lauren, Debbie, and Mrs. Brown were all smiling as they enjoyed their picnic short only one cone of ice cream, one hotdog, and a spoonful of mustard.