It was quite dramatic.
I was moved to tears for the plight of the ant-family, and pleaded with my sister to spare the ant. (In the end and perhaps because she grew bored or was irritated with my fussing, she did in fact give up on killing the little guy.)
The irony about this is that a portion of my occasional nightmares were allocated to two ant-related terrors:
- Another child (my sister, a friend, etc) stepping into an anthill and having an immediate black swarm of ants coat their body, eating them alive while I watched helplessly, unable to assist. This was one of the more gruesome of my dreams, and it came up more than once.
- Giant 7’-8’ tall ants chasing me as I pedaled hard on my bike in an attempt to get away (thank you, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids).
I can’t remember any particular trauma with ants in my personal experience. Like all kids I was bitten by them and sometimes I was bitten by a bunch of them, but I wasn’t allergic and was never injured severely. I wasn’t generally frightened of ants, so I don’t know why some of my nightmares were about them. Perhaps it was my brain’s way of threatening impending karma should I ever decide to try to burn ants with a magnifying glass.
Life lesson: don’t burn living things with magnifying glasses. Try dead leaves instead. Just don’t burn down the house.