The first day in their new house, the young couple unpacked and kept marveling, such a big place at a reasonable price on a quiet street.
The second day, they noticed the ants. Some were large, meaty things that seemed angry at the invasion of their home. Others were tiny, barely visible, and seemed unconcerned with the humans’ arrival, probably because they out-numbered them several billion to two.
The third day, they sought help at the hardware store.
“We need some ant traps,” the wife said to the middle-aged man behind the counter. His smile faded, and he looked at her like she had just threatened his dog.
“You can’t get that here,” the man said.
“You don’t carry ant traps?” the husband asked.
He seemed offended. “Of course not. I don’t even think that’s legal.”
The husband began a response, sucked air into his lungs the way he did before swear words were about to surface, but his wife touched his arm.
“Well,” she said, “We have ants in our new house. Do you know where we can get ant traps?”
The man stared at her for a long moment, and then he spat laughter.
“What the hell is so funny?” the husband asked.
“You want ant traps,” the man said between chuckles. “I thought you were asking for anthrax.”
By the tenth day, when the ants had actually carried away all of the ant traps, they began to wonder if maybe anthrax would have worked better after all.