Aunty Marsula
Off the Wall, July 10,

They came, lots of them, from every crevice, blade of grass and fields afar. Their mission, to take part in the annual reunion that always is scheduled in Legion Keener Park’s grove, beside the widest tree along a short gravel road.

It wasn’t easy, you know. Even though ants have more legs, that doesn’t mean they can get places faster. It just doesn’t work that way.

Since the weekend is always full of visitors to the playground, picnic tables and pavilions, there is no possible way these gatherings could be held on a Saturday or Sunday. Another day had to be chosen. One of the organizers chose Tuesday afternoon. “After all, we probably could have the whole park to ourselves. What possibly would take place by that path next to our place to gather?” Mike thought. He was put in charge because of his successful adventures in business. All his fellow ants counted on his wisdom.

The date was set – July 10, 2014 beginning at 12 o’clock noon and lasting to 4 pm. It couldn’t be an all-day affair because ants tire easily even though one wouldn’t know it as they are seen scurrying about when chanced upon.

Some little guys and gals got there early. They met around 10 a.m. to do a little catching up. There is less than a greater chance they only see each other once a year – in the park. Thus, they knew what they had to do.

As they neared the stoned pathway, each found itself having to climb structures and maneuver around obstacles that stood in their midst. Aunt Ethel and her husband Fred could smell the wonderful bread, cookies and items called pizzelles. Mary Lou, one of regulars at every reunion, told of the challenge she had when she climbed over piece after piece of colorful handmade jewelry that caught her eye.

Many ants traveled together since they were coming from the same dwelling area. They couldn’t stop talking about the antiques in way of rustic décor items, country lighting and stitchery, girl’s hair ribbons, not only Slovak nut roll, banana bread and zucchini bread, but other foods such as pizza, hoagies, perogies, German cuisine, berry pies, flavored and colored popcorn.

‘Nunz,’ as he is known to his fellow residents, had fun, he said, walking up and down the colorful quilts that hung from the top of some white rods. He really wanted to stay but realized he must move on.

Terry knew he had to do the same, but loved traipsing up and down the children’s toys and painted pots. Two sisters, Margaret and Marsha, had a detour to overcome. They were taken aback by the wonderful odors of handmade soap that extended from one end of the table to the other. One could be heard telling the other, “I wish mom could smell these.” They, too, had to keep to the plan and move on.

Can one imagine what Claudine must have thought when she stumbled upon a beautiful scenic photo in a plastic box and book beside it with a man’s picture on the front wearing glasses and a black hat? “Too bad I can’t see the other pictures in the box,” she said to herself.

Another group coming from the southeastern part of the park stumbled upon dog and cat treats. “Yummy,” Janet thought. “Too bad I can’t get inside the plastic wrapping,” she stated.

It was going on 11:30 a.m. A good many ants had arrived, and all they could talk about was the new sightings that weren’t there when they were younger. Josh, Miranda and Aunty Marsula were still to arrive. “I hope they are all right,” said one old timer.

Shortly thereafter, Josh did arrive. He had nothing but good things to say about the preserves and jellies that he had tested, slurped up from paper plates that were discarded in a garbage bag. Miranda found a bit of heaven along her travels. There was box after box after box of tomatoes, beans, squash and onions. One could understand in all truthfulness why she was late. After all, there remains a bit of bliss gnawing on a little produce to give one strength.

“What happened to Aunty Marsula?

That’s easy. A little tyke, sucking his ice-cold, homemade lemonade, spilled a little drink onto the grass. “I had to stop for a little refreshment,” the senior member stated. Wouldn’t you do the same if you were an ant?

- Paul J. Volkmann
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