When JBS Haldane was asked what his scientific research had shown about the nature of God replied, 'The deity seems to have an inordinate fondness for beetles'. If I was asked a similar question, I will say it was ants that the deity was fond of. Much care is taken to ensure that the area around me is an ant-free zone but sometimes an intrepid ant decides to explore the forbidden territory. Ogden Nash tells us why ants are so antsy,'Would you be calm and placid/ If you were full of formic acid?'
When an ant (especially a red ant) explores your body and you are unable to do anything to discourage it, your face tends to become a bit expressive. Noticing this and the unexplained jerks of my hands and legs, the nurse will correctly intuit that some little creature is up to no good. She will move with admirable dispatch to scratch one of my ankles. The ant meanwhile will be scurrying around one of my knees making a speculative bite once in a while. Hearing the commotion Jaya will rush into my room and try to find out the problem. I will dictate a few key words which will place her in procession of the salient facts regarding the current location of the peripatetic ant. The result would be a dead ant. She is too big to fail.
Ogden Nash wrote another poem about the splendid skill of the gifted hunter:
The hunter crouches in his blind'Neath camouflage of every kindAnd conjures up a quacking noiseTo lend allure to his decoysThis grown-up man, with pluck and luckis hoping to outwit a duck.
Forget a duck, I need competent outside help to deal with a determined ant.