A Showdown With Ants

Charlie’s Corner is the domain of Charlie, the furry four-legged lady’s man of Market Common. Each month, he’ll share information to help all new, visiting, and existing doggie community members get the most out of life alongside their human companions. Here, we’ll feature his reflections on what it’s like to be a dashing downtown doggie, as he reminds all of us how to play well together.

This month, Charlie gets feisty, and fights for his rights to be the top table-snitching, snack-picking pooch at the party.

Summer is officially in high swing. I just love the change of the seasons, but the reason why I love July is right up there with why I love other holidays. Two words for you (and no they aren’t belly rubs). They are table scraps.

Yes, the advent of high summer season is the advent of grilling season, and all that glorious meat on the bones, that one way or another, will find its way into my belly. 

Usually I just look cute, and people give it to me (I’m hoping I age well or otherwise I’m done for), but there’s something about locating and snatching it when no one is looking that just completes me in a way I can’t explain. It makes me quite giddy just writing about it.

So now here we are with our small little gathering for this year’s Independence Day celebrations. And boy am I excited. Burgers and chicken, and maybe even a suckling pig? I don’t think anyone eats that but in my fantasies there is one. There’s also watermelon, and little cupcakes, none of which thrill me that much, but they do others, which means more meat and bones for me. Yum.

While I’m lolling about waiting for the festivities to commence (read: someone to drop something, or the first full and abandoned plate), I’m lying out on my back patio near the potted plants soaking up some sun and feeling the anticipation build. When suddenly, ah, ah, ACHOO! Something just crawled across my nose. Boy did that tickle. Good thing I sneezed it away. 

As I look around to check on the food status, I hear a voice:

“Herbert! Oh Herbert, are you okay?”

Huh? Who’s Herbert? I hope he’s not in charge of the grill if there’s potential he’s not ok.

I look around the other direction, and I see… two ants. One sort of curled in a ball. As I put my nose closer to investigate, there’s an indignant:

“You brute! Get away! Oh I knew this was a terrible idea!”

“What?!” I exclaim. “Are you speaking to me? I’m generally known as a charming ladies-man and lover of belly rubs with a refined palette, but certainly not a brute.”

“Your violent wind expulsion from your nose nearly killed Herbert when we were on our way to the picnic,” the little ant cried in misery.

At this point, Herbert seemed to recover, because he uncurled himself with a, “I’m fine Flo, just settle down now. Maybe the nice dog can give us some tips.”

“Well, I’m sorry for the accident,” I reply graciously, but you walked across my nose, and I had an automatic reaction. What sort of tips would you like?”

“Well, we’re looking for an in to the party so we can get all of our extremities on some digs,” Herbert explains.

“Uh…. No. Nope. Sorry, no can do,” I reply flatly. “I’m the top-dog here, and the only scrap-snitching, plate-licking life form on four legs at this party. There’s definitely no room to share.”

At this, Herbert and Flo look crestfallen as much as two ants, one partially still crumpled, can. Moments pass. Then seconds. Then minutes. Then, I feel like a brute. It conflicts with my self-image. I can’t take it.

“Oh all right,” I say. “I guess there’s plenty to go around.”

Suddenly, that excitement feels so much more satisfying now that I’m sharing, as I look down at my two new little friends. There’s a plate nearby fresh off the grill, and I invite Herbert and Flo (and their 55 cousins?! What? How did this… Oh well.) over to the table for some plate-licking food-snitching. It’s a party indeed.”

Until next time,

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