Purpose on six legs
Stina, my youngest daughter, was three (or was it four?) years old. We were on a short daddy-daughter walk in the Angeles National Forest just north of the city.
We took a sandy path weaving away from the parking lot and into what goes for greenery in Southern California. As we took a little break, a very small ant scurried across the sandy path, apparently quite intent on his destination. We studied it for a while. So busy, so sure of itself, so knowing precisely where it was heading. “Do you think that ants think?” I asked her.
Not taking her eyes off the little guy, she pondered this for a while. Then she looked up at me: “Red ants or black ants?”
Stunned into fatherly silence, it took me a little while to reply, “Red. Red ants.”
She looked back at the little guy for a while, pondered my question, then answered, still regarding him, “Marriage. They think of marriage.”