The older one went into the fridge and took out an apple. She brought it back to the couch where her younger sister was sitting and watching television. She took a bite out of it and then passed it onto her younger sister. Her sister dutifully ate her share while the older one flipped through the channels. She passed it back and the older one ate it down to the core.
The older one said, “Let’s go outside.” The younger one stood up and followed. The older one weaved through the new patio furniture until a perfect spot was found. She carefully set the apple core on the ground. The younger one looked nervously around and said, “Should we be here? Mom said not to touch the new patio set.”
The older one said, “Mom says not to do a lot of things.”
Ants were starting to notice the core. Big, black, shiny ants with ugly three part bodies and stringy legs. The ants crawled up onto the core and within two minutes the entire thing was covered with the blackness of carpenter ants. Ants gathered all around, crowding as if the core was the pope and they were Catholics in St. Peter’s Square.
The older one had a mischievous twinkle in her eye and began stomping on the gathered ants. Crush, smush, thump. She squished many ants. Still, more ants poured in and the older one kept stomping. The younger one saw the older one’s glee and couldn’t help but stomp too. Who knew stomping on ants was delightfully satisfying?
“Kids!” the mother screamed from inside. “What are you doing by the new furniture?” She ran over and was livid. “My God! What! Are! You! Doing?!”
The younger one burst into tears and said, “I’m sorry, Mommy. I’m sorry!” She hugged her mother’s waist.
“I am very disappointed in both of you,” the mother said.
The younger one gasped for air between apologies. “Mommy! I’m sorry! Don’t be disappointed in me!”
The older one smiled and said, “I’m sorry, too, Mom. I really am.”
But, she wasn’t. She learned many things today. She learned that ants like apples just as much as grapes (which she tried last week) and she learned that the patio furniture was something her mother could get mad about. She didn’t want to be told what was important or not. She wanted to experience it.