Hector heard on the news that the next day would be rainy. Uh-O he thought, now the camp picnic and games will be held in the gym at the community center. “Hmmm,” he said to himself, “What can I do to make the indoor picnic seem more like an outdoor picnic”?
He started walking around the house thinking, what does an outdoor picnic have that an indoor picnic doesn’t have?
Then it came to him…ants. That is what the indoor picnic wouldn’t have…ants. And that is when Hector decided to bring ants to the picnic.
He remembered seeing lots of ants on a log behind the garage. He grabbed an empty jar, a piece of cheesecloth from the kitchen drawer that had very tiny holes in it, and a rubber band to hold the cheesecloth in place. Out he went to the log. He scooped up a bunch of ants in the jar, quickly covered them with the cheesecloth that would let them breathe and fastened the rubber band over the top of the jar to hold the cheesecloth in place and keep the ants in the jar.
Hector was so proud of himself! He put the jar of ants in his knapsack for camp.
The weather man was right; it was raining very hard the next day. So, the counselors held the sack races and the egg on a spoon races and the ring toss games and ping pong in the gym. When the games were over, the counselors gave each group of campers a picnic blanket. The counselors told the camper groups to each pick a section of the gym where they could lay the blanket down and sit on it while they ate their picnic lunch.
Just as Hector’s group got settled, Hector reached into his knapsack and took out the jar of ants. But before he could take off the rubber band and let the ants out of the jar a voice behind him said, “Hector, you let those ants loose in here and you will be in trouble.”
Hector turned around and there, right behind him was Coach Campbell. “What were you thinking,” asked Coach. “Don’t you know what will happen if you let those ants loose? They will get in your friends’ food and they won’t be too happy with you, added Coach Campbell. “Also,” said coach, “What will happen to the ants? How will they find their way outside again”?
Hector looked surprised and said, “I never thought of it that way. I was just trying to make the indoor picnic more like an outdoor picnic. There are always ants at an outdoor picnic.”
Coach Campbell took Hector by the hand and they went outside together. The rain had stopped, but the ground was wet. They walked away from the gym until they found a place to let the ants go free.
Once the ants were free, they headed back to the gym. Coach Campbell reminded Hector that ants don’t belong inside, not even for a picnic.Ants belong outside where they can be free!