[meteorite-list] The Tale of The Fire Ant (sort of an analogy....)
From: David Weir <dgweir_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:49:00 2004
Your analogy is a good one. Even to the extent that Diazanon will only
kill the soldiers and foragers of the colony but will not reach the
Queen, who will continue to produce more soldiers and foragers to
propagate the mound. Rather, a slow-acting bait is necessary, one that
the foragers will take back deep into the mound where it will reach and
destroy the Queen. This takes time and patience and you must supply
enough bait to do the job the first time or the colony will split into
> As is my regular routine on Friday evenings this time of year, I donned my rattiest pair of shorts, a similarly tattered shirt, an old pair of sneakers, and went out to mow my yard. About 15 minutes into my chore, as I was walking along behind the mower, minding my own business, agonizing over the tragic events of this week, I suddenly felt a sharp stinging sensation on my leg. I looked down to see a small creature, a fire-ant, clinging to the skin of my shin.
> Now for those of you unfamiliar with fire-ants, as I was before moving to Texas, let me give you a little background information. Fire-ants are God's way of saying that size does not matter. Under the right conditions, a strategically placed fire-ant sting can bring a tear to your eye. And even if not, within the next few days, I will probably develop a dime-sized oozing pustule on my leg, the result of its venom. All this from a tiny ant. But I digress…back to my story.
> Upon noticing the ant clinging to me, did I stop and ask him, "Little ant, why have you stung me? For I have allowed you to live in my land, and to partake of all the bounty that is therein. I must understand your reasons for this act." No, I reached down and killed him. And did I strike him with only enough force to kill him? No….I swatted the little bastard hard enough to kill a small mammal.
> Then I noticed several more fire-ants, actively scurrying around on my sneaker and crawling upon my sock, attempting to reach bare flesh where they too would undoubtedly inflict their painful stings upon me. Did I stop and ask them, "Little ants, why do you also seek to harm me as did your brother? I have allowed all of you to live in my kingdom and partake of all its bounty. I must understand your reasons for this act." No…I killed every one of them also.
> And did I choose to ignore the fact that undoubtedly there was nearby, within my kingdom, a mound of fire-ants, all capable of inflicting their pain and suffering upon not only me, but anyone who might happen to venture too close to them? No, I sought out their mound, and once located, I sprinkled upon them granules of death (a.k.a. Diazanon), so that none of them would ever inflict pain and suffering upon anyone again. And for the remainder of my task of cutting my yard, as I came across other fire-ant mounds, similarly, I sprinkled upon them all, the Diazanon granules of death.
> But did I then run beyond the boundaries and borders of my kingdom to kill all the fire-ants that might dwell in the kingdoms controlled by my neighbors? Certainly not, for any fire-ants that may dwell upon their lands do not threaten me. However, if any of the ants that dwell in the lands of my neighbors ever invade my kingdom in order to inflict their pain and suffering upon me or anyone who I invite to dwell in or partake of my land, I will certainly rain the Diazanon granules of death upon them too.
> Now does this mean that I hate all species of ants? Certainly not. I'm actually one of those people who will go out of his way to avoid stepping on an ant if I come across one as I walk. Ants are God's creatures too, and they serve a valuable purpose in nature. (Although for the life of me I can't figure out what He had in mind when He created fire-ants….or the mosquito for that matter. Mental note to self: Ask Him some time.)
> So why do I hate the lowly fire-ant? I hate them because they have on numerous occasions, inflicted their pain upon me, and those about whom I care. Do I believe for one moment that by killing those ants tonight, I have forever rid my kingdom of fire-ants? Certainly not, for I know that as sure as I eliminated the ants who attacked me tonight, other fire-ants are at this very moment, invading my land and will build their mounds therein. And what to do about this unending threat?
> Let's just say I keep a very large bag of Diazanon in my garage.
Received on Sat 15 Sep 2001 08:34:20 AM PDT