When I was little (around 4 or 5) and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I told them a pirate. I didn’t actually know what pirates did, I only knew that they sailed around on big ships and got to use guns. So my sister Colleen, my cousin Patrick, and I formed The Pirates. I’ve no doubt I’ll tell more stories of our escapades later but this is the first story I remember from our early days.
It’s a good thing 5 year olds don’t get tattoos because this would have been all over us.
I’m not sure if our pirate fascination began before or after our first trip to Disneyland. None the less Pirates of the Caribbean became our favorite ride. My uncle assured us that they only used live ammo on Tuesdays. We begged to be allowed to stay that long.
We used to hit each other with plastic swords and run barefoot across our Grandparents’ property looking for ways to defend our family. Our first enemy was the ants. This was pretty much inevitable since all our houses had ant problems and it seemed that the adults were always talking about them and worried about them getting inside. We decided to prevent them from getting inside.
There was a colony of ants that lived on the property and we did what anyone would do. We decided to flood the ant hill. Colleen took the hose and held it there and Patrick and I turned it on. At first everything was going great. The water rushed in and filled the hole. The ants, presumably, were floundering and never going to darken our doorsteps again.
It was then that ants float on water. Years later I’d lean the science behind it, something about them having so little mass that they can’t break the surface tension.
So instead of them all going to a watery grave the enraged ants emerged in a mass of rage and turned on us. Or rather, Colleen. Patrick and I were running back to the house but Colleen was holding the hose and didn’t want to let it go. As such she was swarmed by angry bitting ants.
We had a very unsupervised childhood. There wasn’t an adult to be see. We raced back to the house and banged the door open. Alerted to the possibility that something might be amiss the various grown ups demanded to know what happened and where Colleen was.
“There’s no saving her.” Patrick said. This caused a fair bit of alarm. And they looked out the window and saw Colleen in distress. They ran out and my Grandfather turned the hose on her blasting the ants off. She suffered no lasting damage, not even a fear of ants.
After this incident we were, “forbidden from going near there again.” But we couldn’t let the ants have the last laugh.
Hope you leave here laughing.