For those of you not in the South, or should I say, those of you who are able to lie down in your grass without fear, let me introduce you to this creature who comes straight from the bowels of hell:
This, dear innocent ones, is a Fire Ant. He needs no introduction to anyone South of the Mason/Dixon line, I'm sure. I will tell you right off the bat that he never travels alone. EVER. And those little pincher thingies? They're meant for biting. Biting PEOPLE. Oh and one more thing, it hurts just as bad as you would guess it would by looking at them, and probably even worse. But remember, they don't travel alone. EVER. So there are at least 5 of them biting you at the same time if you are foolish enough to come within a 17 foot radius of one of their mounds.
I am now going to tell you about how I learned about these little beasts. One day, while living in South Carolina, I happened to notice my neighbor outside in her yard. I was such a lonely stay-at-home Mama at that point which caused me to jump, if not absolutely hurl myself, at every opportunity to have adult conversation. So naturally, when I saw her, I snatched up baby Ty and headed out the door with such determination that I didn't even put on any shoes.
Yeah, it's pathetic, I know, but this chic thrives on social interaction, people. Which is why, when I run into a young Mama at the grocery store who strikes up a conversation over the eggs and then proceeds to tell me her life story while nervously giggling the whole time, I recognize the precipice that she is on and I try to listen attentively.Anyway. I tried to appear as casual as one can without footwear as I made a beeline toward the little fence that separated our properties. She saw me coming, stopped what she was doing and reached for Ty (because she was awesome like that) who happily went right to her, then we commenced chatting over the fence. What happened next is so indelibly burned into my psyche that I don't even think the Joys of Heaven will be able to erase it.
All of a sudden, both of my feet and one of my legs felt like they were being punctured by hot, thick needles, repeatedly. I backed away screaming and questioning loudly what fate had befallen me.
"Looks like you yerself got into some fah-yer aynts" drawled my Southern friend.
"What are these wicked things that you speak of", I questioned further, while begging God for mercy. She just smirked and probably called me a Yankee for the 768th time in my life.
I was rapidly brushing the horrid creatures off of my leg and feet only to have them attach to my hands to bite me further. It took me all of forever to kill them, but all of one minute to realize for eternity that beautiful mounds of freshly turned up soil are NOT a place to put your foot or any other appendage. Because what lies beneath are dark, sinister beings that quickly rise to the top and whose sole purpose for existing is to destroy the human race one bite at a time.
Now you can consider yourselves informed and I can feel like I have done my part in the world of Innnnsect Identificaaaaaaaaaaaation. Oh, what will we talk about in the wintertime?
The Bug Policegirl,