I crawled inside my tunnelhouse to breathe in the heady smell of dampness and potting mix and to see what seeds may have sprouted. Tomatoes and gherkins, zucchini and a pumpkin. But no cucumbers...not yet.
Then I spied them. Tiny ants. A dozen or so scuttling over the chitting yams. They were easy to spot against the white plate on which the yams sat, their black bodies shiny in the afternoon sun like minute polished beads.
I scrunched down on my elbows and knees and watched, fascinated by the way the ants carried off specks of milk powder dotted along a yam. I'd been mixing milk for our pet lambs when I'd decided right then and there that the yams were to go to the tunnelhouse.
A couple of ants looked like they'd sunk their jaws into yam flesh. Maybe sucking what juice remained. Do ants suck? I wondered, as the milk powder carriers scurried over the edge of the plate and made their way down blades of grass, clover and daisy stems.
Suddenly a burning sensation filled my cheeks, my head throbbed and a wave of sickness swept over me as the heat in the tunnelhouse became unbearable. But still I stayed, stuck in my ball-like position. What if the milk powder ants told their mates...party at Yam City! They would march back in their thousands, oozing from the ground in a sea of black. But they wouldn't be after the yams...they'd be after me. EEK!
Quickly I inspected my hands, my arms and my knees. Phew! Ant-free! I backed out of that
tunnelhouse and hobbled dizzily inside. Then, for the first time in ages, I sat
down and wrote. J