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By:  Adam Arrigo
West Chester,  PA
age 13  grade 7
C.F. Patton Middle School

Hi, my name is Freddie and I’m a red ant.  In my ant family I have a mother ant, a father ant, and a grandpop ant.  I’m an only ant.  My grandmom was tragically smushed by a mean giant before I was born, so I never got to know her.  Giants, formally known as humans are huge things that walk where they want, whenever they want.  But they aren’t us ants only problem.  Our main problem was the evil ant eater who is known to destroy our homes and try to suck us into his snout like a vacuum.  But anyway, I’m here to tell you how I, Freddie the ant, saved my ant hole.
It all started when my family was sitting in the living room of our hole watching TV.
“In ant news today, we have an emergency news bulletin.  The FAI (Federal Ant Investigation) have traced the evil ant eater to his present location:  Antenaville.  He is said to be wandering somewhere within this place.”
“Oh no!” Mother Ant cried,  “That’s where we live!”
“Oh, not to worry,”  exclaimed Father Ant, “I’m sure everything will be fine.  The FAI are highly trained for situations like this.  I’m sure they can handle it.”
I felt my little ant stomach churn and ache.  What if he attacked our ant hole, I thought.  I don’t want to become some evil ant eater’s mid-day snack!
I woke the next day from a deep sleep.  I crawled out of bed and through the upstairs holeway.  I was starving when I finally reached the kitchen.  I smiled as I saw Mother Ant cooking me a big, juicy, crumb for my breakfast before ant-school.  I sat down at the table next to grandpop ant.
“Here’s your breakfast sweety,” said Mother Ant in her always jolly kind of voice.  What a morning ant she is!

“Milk!!?? I don’t want milk, I want juice!”  I demanded in my grumpy morning tone.
“Drink your milk Freddie, it makes you strong.  In my day I drank my milk every day and look at these biceps now!”  uttered Grandpop Ant in an old crackly voice.  He held up his skinny arm trying hard to flex it.  I just smiled and grinned.  “What’s that grin for?” he demanded in his scratchy voice.
“Nothing, Grandpop,” I said.  I took a big gulp of milk to make him happy.  I nibbled on my crumb a little.
“Time to go to school, Freddie,” exclaimed Mother Ant.
“But I don’t want to Mother, all the other ants make fun of me because I’m red!” I explained to her.
She was about to say something when Grandpop Ant interrupted, “Why in my day, when the other ants made fun of me I have ‘em the ‘ol left jab into the right antenna.  Worked every time!”
“I’m sure grandpa!” I said sarcastically, “And I bet you used those big biceps of your too!”
“I did!  I remember it like it was yesterday....”
“I’d really like to stick around and listen to your little flashbacks, but I’m going to be late,” I said, “Bye!”
Everyday I dreaded going to ant school, because I was the only red ant in the entire school.  All the other ants were black.  I felt so different, and to top it all off, everybody makes fun of me.
As I made my way to class, the other ants behind me pointed and laughed.  “Ignore them,” I said to myself.  One of the other ants yelled,  “Hey! Look! It’s Rudolf the Red nosed Ant!  HAHAHAHA!”  All the other ants laughed.  I felt so bad.  Then I finally made it to class.
As I was walking home from ant school (I was above-ground) I tripped over something.  When I got up to see what it was I screamed.  I had tripped over ant eater tracks!  Hundreds of thoughts raced through my mind and I started to feel light headed.  I ran home as fast as my little ant legs could carry me.  I dove into the hole and yelled incoherent words at my mother, “The ant, the ant tracks, the eater!”
“Slow down Freddie, what happened?” inquired Mother Ant in a terrified voice.  But before I could answer her, the entire ant hole started rumbling and shaking.  “The ant eater!!” Mother screamed.  Out of the corner of my terrified eye, I saw a long brownish-orange snout, plunge through the ceiling.
“AAAAAA!!!!” we both cried in horror.  I knew I had to do something and fast.  So I grabbed the nearest object possible:  my book bag.  I used all of the strength in my little ant arms to hurl the book bag at the snout as hard as I could.
“Ow!  My snout!”  I heard a little voice cry.  Then everything was silent.  I didn’t know what to think or do.  Should I climb out there or stay in here, I thought.  I decided to climb out through the ant hole.  When I peeped my small head and antennas out, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  There weeping on the ground in front of me was the ant eater.  He was much smaller than I expected.  He was a brownish orange color.  His skin looked scaly and rough and his sky-blue eyes were filled with tears.  Everyone depicted him as a huge monster but there in front of me lay a helpless animal who didn’t look dangerous at all.  The sight of this made me recoil slightly, but then I came little closer.  “AAA...Are you OK?” I inquired with my voice shaking.
“I think so,” said the little voice.
I gained the courage to speak again,  “I didn’t mean to hurt your snout.”
“Why’d you do that, anyway?” asked the ant eater.
“Because you were trying to eat me!” I exclaimed.
The ant eater looked puzzled for a few seconds.  Then he said, “I’ve never hurt a fly.  I just want to make some friends.  I don’t have any, but when I get near any ants they all run away screaming.  Everyone thinks I eat ants because of my name, but that’s just a really bad stereotype!  All I want is some friends.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  But without even knowing it, I heard myself saying, “I guess you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.”
After that I had a long conversation with the ant eater.  We concluded that it would be a good idea for the ant eater to apologize to the other ants for giving them a scare.  So, that day we went around going from hole to hole apologizing.  All the other ants at school saw how brave I was for confronting the ant eater and soon enough I was the most popular ant in Antenna High.  Everyone started realizing that they had all misjudged the ant eater.  Even the FAI realized that they were wrong.  But sadly enough the ant eater had to leave.  All the ants of Antenaville threw him a big farewell party.  And he was off sooner than we knew it.
Now he visits every once in a while.  But no matter how many other friends he makes, he’ll never forget his friends in Antenaville.