Them!

Turns out my memory is short. I should have been more thankful that the rain had been so long a-coming, it was the only thing keeping the ants away. Perhaps it is just a little post hoc ergo proctor hoc (after this, therefore because of this) but I am willing to bet it was the rain that initiated the emergence of the brood. It seems like every patch of land was claimed by a nest. The ground was alive with hell spawn and relief was nowhere in sight.

What's worse, my feet have grown soft since this time last year. My flesh has become tender and yielding. I couldn't stay in the same spot for more than a few seconds before the swarm became overwhelming. I wasn't alone however, everyone had a bit more urgency to their gait. And the tell tale “ant stomp” is back again. This is the practice of slamming your foot down hard enough to hopefully dislodge any ants crawling over your foot and leg. I am convinced that the traditional Tswana dance, which has very similar stomps, has origins in this very same maneuver.

I think the ants wanted to set the tone for this season by being extra aggressive and biting extra hard. Once one of them locked its pincers, it was in it until one of us died. My feeling is they don't have to be such relentless jerks. Once I am sufficiently far away from the nest, come on, just let it go. For example, this morning I thought I had brushed off all the soldiers I had picked up on my walk but I discovered on a subsequent pass that there was one still hanging on in between my toes. This little guy had been biting me for like 4 hours straight. It should have given up and gone home a long time ago. Still, what a tremendous warrior spirit! I certainly respect that kind of moxie but not enough to spare its existence so I promptly crushed it. Respect for your enemies is important, can't underestimate these buggers for a second.

Walking barefoot to fetch water is simple no longer an option.

Socks and Underwear: Them!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Them!

Turns out my memory is short. I should have been more thankful that the rain had been so long a-coming, it was the only thing keeping the ants away. Perhaps it is just a little post hoc ergo proctor hoc (after this, therefore because of this) but I am willing to bet it was the rain that initiated the emergence of the brood. It seems like every patch of land was claimed by a nest. The ground was alive with hell spawn and relief was nowhere in sight.

What's worse, my feet have grown soft since this time last year. My flesh has become tender and yielding. I couldn't stay in the same spot for more than a few seconds before the swarm became overwhelming. I wasn't alone however, everyone had a bit more urgency to their gait. And the tell tale “ant stomp” is back again. This is the practice of slamming your foot down hard enough to hopefully dislodge any ants crawling over your foot and leg. I am convinced that the traditional Tswana dance, which has very similar stomps, has origins in this very same maneuver.

I think the ants wanted to set the tone for this season by being extra aggressive and biting extra hard. Once one of them locked its pincers, it was in it until one of us died. My feeling is they don't have to be such relentless jerks. Once I am sufficiently far away from the nest, come on, just let it go. For example, this morning I thought I had brushed off all the soldiers I had picked up on my walk but I discovered on a subsequent pass that there was one still hanging on in between my toes. This little guy had been biting me for like 4 hours straight. It should have given up and gone home a long time ago. Still, what a tremendous warrior spirit! I certainly respect that kind of moxie but not enough to spare its existence so I promptly crushed it. Respect for your enemies is important, can't underestimate these buggers for a second.

Walking barefoot to fetch water is simple no longer an option.

3 Comments:

Blogger presco said...

I am so glad we did not run into those ants on our jaunt over and under the rocks near Clanwilliam! Ugh!

November 10, 2010 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Those aren't the army ants that eat people I hope!

November 11, 2010 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Noah Prescott said...

@presco - Agreed! The ants are probably pretty bad there. In fact I think one of the cave drawings resembled a giant ant with huge pincers.

@Cheryl - I tried looking up what type of ants are currently everywhere in my village but quickly became discouraged by how many different types of ants there are in Africa and gave up. I might give it another shot but it doesn't seem like there is an easy way for me to identify them. So, in reply to your comment, yes those are definitely the army ants that eat people.

November 11, 2010 at 12:25 PM  

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