Dear Neutral Gender, Anthropomorphized, Parental-Unit Nature:

I put up with a lot from the sadistic creatures you seem to love so much (you’ve made so many of them!): stings, bites, nips, scratches, rashes, hives, unwilling blood donation, as well as various and sundry other unpleasant reactions resulting from the activities of your offspring. I have never fought back; I’ve never even killed a fly. When your beloved minions enter my abode, I gently catch them and take them outside. When I’m outside, I take the laissez-faire attitude that the outside is their home, and I am the intruder.

Oh, sure — I do use mosquito repellant (a natural one, not something poisonous like Deet), and I have knocked down wasp nests to keep those kamikazes from dive-bombing me as I enter and leave my home (my home, not theirs), but otherwise, I’ve let your creatures do what they will.

But yesterday, as I was standing innocuously, talking to a neighbor over the fence, a red fire ant attacked me. Oh, my. What a horror! The pain was like a hot knife sliding into my flesh. Even worse, it bit me not once, not twice, but five times. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

I’ve been stung by hornets that didn’t feel as bad. I’ve been bitten by dogs that didn’t hurt so much. I’ve been splashed with boiling oil, resulting in second and third degree burns that didn’t burn as hotly. I’ve had bee stings that didn’t swell as much. I’m battling dozens of mosquito bites at the moment, and the totality of those bites, as horrifically aggravating as they are, can’t compare to the brutality of those ant bites all up and down my leg. Even after I iced the bite sites, even after I applied insect-bite soothing creams, even after taking a pain pill and an antihistamine, the agony stayed. And stayed. And stayed. The pain is not as harsh this morning, but still, I’ve had enough.

I’m through. I’m through with being your plaything. Through with being a victim of your casual cruelties.

No more!

I’m giving due notice. Remove your troops immediately or I will declare war. Admittedly, all of the ants on this property combined probably weigh more than I do, and their arsenal is effective and very painful, but mine is more deadly. Well, it will be as soon as I figure out what my weapon is.

So take heed! This human you’ve treated worse than a worm has turned.


Fed-up in Colorado


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

5 Responses to “War!”

  1. Sam Sattler Says:

    Never surrender! Especially to fire ants. Those guys are viciously aggressive and they will take over a lawn in just a couple of seasons if you let them go unchecked. My grandson is terribly allergic to their bite and has been in the ER twice in the last ten years because of exactly what happened to you.

    It’s a never-ending battle…more of the joys of owning a home. 🙂

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I have a couple of huge hills, but I wasn’t worried about them since they’re going to be smothered under ornamental rock. I think they’re starting on a new nest though in a different area of the yard, and that’s where I was when they bit me.

  2. Judy Galyon Says:

    Go get ’em Pat!!! Let me know what you use so I can have some if I ever need it. So much for enjoying summer!!!

  3. Estragon Says:

    I’d “go nuclear” on the ants on the first sortie (by talking to a local exterminator about the problem, and do whatever to… just end them). No diplomatic niceties (like folk remedies meant to encourage them to leave), just deploy the ultimate weapon meant to end them with minimal collateral damage.

    This enemy would just as happily dispatch you, given the chance, IMHO.

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