Almost every home has experienced the invasion of ants before: at least, around the bin where leftover food may be found. Many a time, we are tempted to kill them with insecticide sprays or sweep them off but they mostly come back. It was the same with Drilla’s new apartment. She had been posted to Apam barely two weeks ago to begin her life as a pupil-teacher. 

These ants would just not let her be. She tried all she possibly could: spraying, sweeping, stepping, just name them. After about a month of trying, the intensity of their persistence began to intrigue her so much that she got to like them. She started keeping leftovers at some corners of her room for them. Maybe you didn’t really pay attention to what I just said, “She literally intentionally fed the ants”. 

She would speak to them before work and discuss her day with them on her return. I don’t know if anyone has ever had ants as pets but at this point, I could confidently call those ants her pets. 

Believe it or not, those ants were the only friends she had in her new world and they inspired her with so many rich ideas that she was, in a short while, making a huge difference in her new school. That is not to say that those ants could talk or had any supernatural powers. No! Don’t over imagine this! 

They were ordinary ants who went about their normal duties storing as much food as they can. I doubt they even heard a single word of the discussions Drilla ever had with them. Truth is, she would just express herself for hours, replying to imaginary thoughts that she felt were ideas the ants were giving her. Funny, right? Well, they were enjoying each other’s company. “And they lived happily ever after.”, I only wish I could just end the story here like this but sorry! There is more.

One Saturday morning, she was cleaning up her room when she heard strange movements from the back of her door where she kept her processed foods. She picked the items one after the other hoping that whatever was making those sounds wasn’t anything she couldn’t handle. She raised the whole box containing the items since she couldn’t find any stranger inside it only to find a huge cockroach under it. It jumped up quickly and began running helter-skelter in the room. Drilla, upon several attempts, managed to hit it with the sole of her slipper. She shouted for joy, turned to where her ants were, and with a grin on her face, said,  “Today, I am going to feed you with big meat”. She kicked the dead cockroach to their corner and returned to her chores. 

She woke up the next morning only to realize that the big meat she had kept for her ants had been totally ignored by them. Since she was already late for church, she didn’t ask too many questions. Later that evening, she swept off all the leftovers she had kept at the corners for them, assuming that they were avoiding the big meat because they had other leftovers. Early Monday morning, for the first time in a very long time, Drilla woke up only to find out that the rice she had kept the previous night with the hope of enjoying as breakfast before work that day had been invaded by her favorite ants. 

She could feel her heartbeat out of her chest. No breakfast for Drilla. She turned to the corner and the big meat was still untouched. That alone boiled her up so much. She left without talking to them that morning but after work, she couldn’t help herself. After eating, she swept off the big meat, fed her army, and threw herself on her carpet, falling asleep while talking to her buddies.

After about 30 minutes into her sleep, she jumped up in pain and quickly reached out for her light switch to turn her light on. She had been bitten by ants twice at once in her sleep. She kept rubbing the lumps the bites left on her body as she lied on her bed quietly. Thinking about the pain, she wore herself down, “How can they do this to me? How? The ants I feed! First, they refuse what I offer them, then they invade my meal and now they are biting me. The ants I feed prefer to repay me with pain!”

Without giving it a second thought, she hurried to town early the next morning to find a permanent solution to evicting her roommates. She cried as they fell one after the other. She was going to miss her buddies but again she convinced herself with the fact that they betrayed her first. It was about time she thought them a lesson.

Still pondering over her action, she tried to find out from her colleagues at work whether it was normal for ants to ignore a whole big cockroach for days. That was when she was enlightened on how poisonous cockroaches were, especially, to ants. On her return home, she noticed the ants she knew were not the only ones dead on her floor. A few giant ants had made their way into her room, as well. Then, it dawned on her immediately: She could lie in the midst of her army freely; some even walked all over her but they never bit her. Why that particular night? She had been bitten by giant ants instead and she blamed her buddies.

Drilla broke down in tears but it was too late. What she had applied was a permanent solution and there was no other way to reverse it. That was the last she saw of her colony. She regretted her actions every single day but aside that, she learned a few lessons: patience, understanding, reasoning, judging based on proof, not assumptions, and letting love lead every action. A wise man once told me, “Nobody can hurt you without your permission. ‘Expectations’ is the master key they use to get in. Do what you want to do for others because you want to but don’t make a mistake to expect that they must treat you well because you did them.” I hate to end this way but there’s no other “and she lived alone in her room sadly ever after”. 


    1. Hahaa…. It’s impossible. That’s the price she has to pay for her actions: Never to see them again.

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