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Lessons from Life

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 23rd, 2013

The ant farm

I sent out two mail orders when I was 10 years old and waited a long time for them to arrive. One order was for a Joe Gordon baseball glove from the Montgomery Ward catalog, and the other was for an ant farm from a company in Michigan.

At last the Joe Gordon glove arrived, just in time for spring sandlot baseball games. The ant farm took longer. I tried to be patient. I just had to wait it out.

Then one Thursday, a package with my name on it was there when I arrived home from school. It had to be the live ants! When I opened the package, the ants were busy at work. An instruction sheet was enclosed, and I read my obligations. It was fascinating to see those busy ants moving around in their tiny world, and they seemed to be adapting. I realized so little about this phenomenon at the time, but the obligation of owning that small world has stuck with me.

One instruction in boldface type said, "Do not disturb the colony. Put their home in a safe place and enjoy them at their work." But I was 10 and loved basketball and baseball and was continually spinning the basketball and executing short-distance baseball catches with my grade school friends, often in my room.

For the complete article see the 01-23-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-23-2013 paper.

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