VANISHED 6' Thousands of ants vanish, detective finds culprit

A gentle voice spoke into Michaela's ear, "Excuse me. I hate to
bother you."

Michaela, the world's greatest seven-year-old detective, opened
her eyes. She hadn't realized that she had fallen asleep while
watching television. She yawned and stretched and looked around.
But noone was there.

"I thought I heard a voice." Michaela said. "I must have been

"Oh, ah, actually, you weren't dreaming." the voice said. "It's

Michaela looked around again. The voice was the voice of a
woman. And the voice seemed like it was up close to Michaela's
ear. But, again, she couldn't see anyone. So, Michaela got up
from the couch and looked behind it. Nothing.

"Where are you?"

"I'm here." Said the voice in Michaela's right ear.

So, she looked quickly to her right. Nothing. "Is this a joke?"
Michaela asked.

"It's a little hard to explain." said the voice in Michaela's
right ear.

Michaela ran into the bathroom saying, "I'll bet that naughty
boy Tommy put an Ipod in my ear or something."

Then she turned her head and looked into her own right ear.
Nothing. So, she opened the drawer and pulled out a hand-mirror
and looked through the two mirrors into her own right ear.

"There's an ant in my ear!" Michaela exclaimed.

"That's me!" said the woman's voice.

Michaela exclaimed, "It can't be! An ant is talking in my ear?!"

"Allow me to introduce myself," said the voice, "My name is
Margaret, queen of the ants. And I'm really sorry to wake you
up. But I have an emergency."

"An emergency?" ask Michaela.

"Yes," replied the queen, "about a thousand of the five thousand
ants from my colony have just disappeared. And they say that you
are the world's greatest detective. Is it possible that you
could solve this mystery?"

"Yes, of course," replied Michaela, "Where is your ant colony?"

"In the city park, by the playground." said the queen.

So, Michaela walked over to the playground with the queen ant in
her ear canal. When she arrived, Michaela asked, "Where

"Where the sidewalk meets the sand," replied the queen.

Michaela went to the edge of the sand and looked down and
pointed. "This ant mound here?" she asked.

"Yes. I really am grateful that you took the case, Michaela.
This is really important to me."

Michaela looked around the area for a moment, then walked
further down the sidewalk and knelt down. "Aha!" she exclaimed.

"Do you see something?" asked the queen.

"Yes," replied Michaela, "There's sand from the playground
kicked up on the sidewalk. But the sand is missing in a three
inch wide path all across the sidewalk right here. It's like the
sand was vacuumed up."

Michaela stood up and walked further and pointed to several
similar paths through the spilled sand, then she declared, "I
think I know what happened to your ants."

"You do?!" asked the queen.

"Yes, I think that somebody vacuumed them up with a dust

"Why would anyone vacuum up a thousand ants?" asked the queen.

"I don't know. But I'll find out." replied Michaela.

Just then a little girl at the far end of the sand ran crying
and screaming from the playground. A few seconds later, a little
girl behind Michaela went running crying and screaming in the
opposite direction. As they ran, they wiped and shook their

Michaela walked over to where the first girl began crying and
examined the ground in the area. She found two drinking straw
wrappers crumpled on the ground and ants running in all

Then, Michaela walked over to where the second girl began crying
and examined the ground in the area. She found two more drinking
straw wrappers crumpled on the ground and ants running in all

"That's odd," said Michaela.

"What's that?" asked the queen.

Michaela replied, "So far I found four drinking straw wrappers
but not one drinking straw. I think I know what happened to your
ants after they were vacuumed up."

"What's that?" asked the queen.

Michaela replied. "I think there's a little boy somewhere around
here who vacuumed up your ants and poured them into drinking
straw wrappers and then he blew the straw wrappers off the
straws and hit little girls with the wrappers and the ants got
excited and bit the little girls."

The queen asked, "How do you know it was a little boy?"

Michaela replied, "Because he didn't shoot the straw wrappers at
me. He's afraid to shoot at bigger girls and at boys because
they could beat him up."

"But I don't see anyone shooting." said the queen.

"Not yet." replied Michaela as she walked around the playground
looking for a hidden place to shoot from. "If I wanted to shoot
at both ends of the playground at once, where would I shoot
from?" Then Michaela answered her own question. "Some place up

She looked at the top of the slide and the top of the jungle
gym. Nothing. Then she went over to the tree and looked up the
trunk of the tree. There, covered by the leaves of the tree was
Tommy, the naughty neighbor boy with a drinking straw in his
mouth about to shoot a straw wrapper full of ants at another
little girl. She shouted, "Tommy! You naughty boy! Get down
here! Right now!"

The little boy started to cry as he climbed down the tree.
Michaela grabbed his ear and walked him to his house at the edge
of the park and handed him over to his mother and told her what
he had been doing in the park. His mother lead him to his room
by the ear saying, "Naughty boy! You won't be able to go to the
playground for a week!"

Michaela later returned the queen ant to her ant mound, saying,
"Everything should be alright now, Your Majesty. Your ants are
scattered all over the playground. The ants at the far end of
the sidewalk should return to your colony in a couple hours."

And they all lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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