God made all the animals. It says so right in the Bible. But I’m convinced that fire ants are of the devil.
I say this because fire ants are so vile and so wretched and seem to be born to pour out misery upon humanity. And also I say this because of the many similarities between fire ants and sin. And also because I thought it would make a clever little post.
Now I did not grow up with fire ants. I grew up in the mid-west where the icy anesthesia of winter calls the earth and everything within it into a long and deep frozen sleep. And for some, like the cockroach, the long cold mid-western winter brings death. (insert applause)
But. The Texas winter is more of a power nap. After a short nap, the fire ants wake up refreshed and energized and after a few stretches and push-ups, they are ready to destroy happiness and all living things.
Now, how are fire ants like sin? Well I’ll tell you.
For one thing, like sin, fire ants are ubiquitous. In Texas at least, they are everywhere, all the time, and one must never let one’s guard down. In Texas and in life, one must always be aware of where one is standing.
As well, like sin, fire ants are opportunistic.
For example, right at this very moment, just below the surface of my lush and spongy green St. Augustine grass, are likely a number of fire ant mounds, invisible to the naked eye. Just below the surface is a menacing mob of fire ants, rubbing their six tiny hands together in anticipation and cackling with glee, just waiting for some unsuspecting tender flesh to happen by. And in Texas, it eventually happens. Sooner or later you will find yourself standing unawares in a pile of fire ants.
And because fire ants are the spawn of the devil, they are sneaky and surreptitious. An entire army of ants will silently tip toe up your leg in stealth mode and at the appointed time, the ant commander will give the signal to BITE! And all at once, all of the little bastards will joyfully chomp down on your ankles and that very very tender space between your toes. And you will scream in pain. And maybe even cuss.
And it’s not just the fiery sting of the bite that issues agony. Some sort of substance in the bite sends a nausea-inducing, bone chilling current of electricity, pulsing and snapping up and down your spine and out your eyebrows.
And like a wiener dog, once a fire ant bites, it will not let go until it dies. Many people do not know this, but the fire ant was the model for the modern day invention we all know as The Jaws of Life. It’s true. No it’s not. I just made that up. Everyone knows the wiener dog was the model for The Jaws of Life.
Anyway, like sin, fire ants always leave an ugly calling card. After a fire ant bites, he leaves behind a tiny, hard, painful puss-filled, hateful blister. And there is nothing you can do about it but cry just a little and poke at the blister and maybe show other Texans hoping for some sympathy.
And finally, so that I might take an analogy just one step too far, as I like to do — like sin, there is nothing to be done about fire ants. Oh sure you can try this and that and for awhile it might even work. But not for long.
Sin and fire ants. Man can master neither – for very long.