Ant Farm

“A short story about a young girl who’s dreams are fulfilled when she gets an ant farm.” -Madeline Laguaite


"A Snowy Morning" by Quinn Forney, Online Editor

“It was snowing outside and I wanted to get a picture, but I didn’t have a phone or camera. I noticed my laptop’s camera and decided to use that. Problem is, it’s front-facing, so i had to lean it awkwardly to get a picture. The camera, being low-quality, distorted the image a bit, but it ended up looking better than anything I could’ve captured on a phone.” -Quinn Forney

Theresa Williams loved bugs. She liked to watch the way they moved, she liked to watch their interaction with other insects, and she liked to watch their tiny eyes blink. Basically, she enjoyed being crouched low to the ground, studying the various bugs that thrived in her cramped backyard.

Her mother noticed this, of course; it was hard not to notice your child’s strange interest in bugs when she spent her days thrusting her hands into the earth in search of the largest earthworm.

Thankfully, Theresa’s mother was accepting of this obsession, for lack of a better word (appreciation?), and much to her daughter’s excitement, purchased for her an ant farm.

The ant farm was shipped to their modest, suburban home in a cardboard box, filled to the brim with Styrofoam pellets. Theresa’s mother used a knife to slice away the packing tape and opened the box. When Theresa peered over to look inside, her heart began to beat rapidly. Inside was a glass container (the farm) and a small see-through cup of unmoving ants.

Theresa smiled, then frowned. “Are they dead, Mom?”

“No, I don’t think so. Here, let me read the instructions.” Her mother reached inside the box and retrieved a packet with tiny words printed on it.

As her mother traced the words with her eyes and made sense of them, Theresa became more and more curious. She turned the container of ants over and stared at it. Quietly, carefully, she lifted the lid off and tried to count the number of ants. She tilted the plastic cup of black insects side to side, surveying them, and accidentally spilled nearly all the ants onto the cold tile floor. She held her breath. It was much easier to count the ants when they were all spread upon the floor like they were.

“One, two, three, four, fi—”

“Theresa! What are you— are those the—?” She demanded in a high, panicked voice.

“It was an accident!” Theresa protested. “They’re dead anyway.”

“They aren’t dead,” her mother muttered, exasperation seeping into her voice, “they’re asleep.”