We walked barefoot to school at Logan Village. The gravel road near the Quinzy Creek bridge was sometimes covered in large meat-ant’s nests. These big red ants packed a powerful sting of which we were most aware. Joan and I skirted round the nests, but one day, Marty felt brave and announced that he was going to walk through the nest. He had a heavy cold and was carrying a much soiled man’s handkerchief. As he heroically marched on, of course he was bitten and ran, yelping, out of the nest. But he dropped his hanky in so doing...we all ran on.
I suppose Marty used his shirt sleeve for the rest of the day. We took to the road again that afternoon, quite determined to avoid the meat ants. But lo! As we approached nervously, we could see something on top of the nest! It was Marty’s hanky that he sorely need right now. Gingerly, he used a long stick to retrieve the handkerchief and wipe his sore, red nose. To his surprise and delight, the material was clean and soft and dry, having been cleansed by the ants during the long, hot day. By their diligence, they had restored a very grubby piece of cloth into a pristine handkerchief of great comfort to a ten-year old boy; not to mention the avid interest of his two little companions!