Wednesday, June 26, 2019


They’re only ants! Who cares? But what if they’re covered in chocolate . . . 

Don’t run over the little people! When 11-year-old Jane Johnson tries to protect the ants in her driveway from being run over, she decadently covers them in chocolate as way to make them extra special. A chocolate ant farm makes even the smallest creatures sweet. 

Eleven-year-old Jane Johnson yells at her 12-year-old friend and neighbor, Raymond Rocky, to make sure he doesn’t run over the ant family. He says that they’re only ants and that he likes playing with her wagon, rolling down her driveway. The brightly painted red wagon is Jane’s birthday gift from Raymond, but she thinks he likes it more than she does. Jane tells him to remember the little people, scooping up the family of ants into the palm of her hand. She explains that there are such things as fire ants and honey ants. She also says she loves the beetles, and lady bugs, and grasshoppers, studying the driveway for more insects. 

So, during the middle of the night, when her parents are fast asleep, she sneaks into the kitchen and gets all the chocolate out of the refrigerator: chocolate syrup, chocolate butter, chocolate bars, chocolate pudding, and chocolate powder. Then she dilly-dallies into the driveway and spreads as much chocolate as she can over the insects, especially the ants. She works on the chocolate driveway until the wee hours of the morning, until she decides to take the last bits of chocolate and cover the strawberries in the refrigerator. While eating the strawberries, she considers that her parents’ cars might get chocolate on their tires. As she slips back to her bedroom, she shuts her eyes until the sun shines through the bedroom windows.

In the morning, Jane’s mother thinks she ate chocolate the previous night as a midnight snack. Hoping her parents don’t overreact when they see the chocolate driveway, she suggests that her dad takes the bus to work. Once her father sees the chocolate all over the driveway, she explains to him that she didn’t want the ants to get run over, and she thought they would be considered more special if they were covered in chocolate. Her mother immediately runs to get a bucket of water to rinse the driveway. Jane tries to stop her and tells her that the driveway could just be the chocolate ant farm. She points out that the ants have already started to build a little hill by the side of the grass. Having a bit of compassion, Jane’s father bites his lip and says he will tolerate the chocolate ant farm until it rains. Mrs. Johnson says it better rain tomorrow. By the time the rains come, the ants have built up a castle in the driveway, never to be washed away. Jane only rides her wagon through the halls of her parents’ home with Pepper, where she is sure there are no ants. As for Raymond, he still runs over everything in his path, unless Jane stops him first, which is often.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

No comments:

Post a Comment