On the way to the library park today, the Boy stopped, looked down, picked up something so miniscule as to be invisible to my eye, and said,
"Did I mention that I can eat ants?"
And then he ate it.
Of course I was three steps ahead of him with one eye on his sister, who was chomping at the bit to get to the slides. My reaction was something along the lines of "Uh huh...[glance]... that's inter...[double-take]...uh. WHAT?"
Two men sitting under the llibrary overhang nearly busted a rib cracking up. "The real trick," called one to the Boy, "is to eat 'em while they're still alive. Then they're all wiggly going down." The other one was just shaking his head at me and chortling. "Nah," the Boy called back, "it's easier when they're dead."
He caught up to me--not too difficult seeing as how I was still standing there, mid-step, completely flabbergasted. "Tastes like tea and malt," he commented, before heading off with his sister to the swings.
I was willing to chalk it up to a one-time experiment, except I caught him doing it at another park later. "I'm hungry, I need a snack!" he told me. "Well, it's time to go home," I said, "We'll get another snack there." "No, I need one now." "Sorry, buddy, but your sister and you ate all the snacks we brought." "No problem," he declared brightly, "I know where I can find lots of snacks!" And then he climbed up some rocks and started eating more ants. WTF??
In the car on the way home, I explained the finer points of Why We Don't Eat Ants Unless We're Traveling In Exotic Locales. "When Papa was in China he drank snake blood," the Boy observed. Spoken like a true Frenchman, I must say. "Well," I said, "eating ants is definitely adventurous, I'll give you that. Maybe when you grow up, you'll be a photographer and you'll roam the world taking pictures for National Geographic. Or maybe you'll be a writer, and you'll travel far and wide, writing the stories of many lands. Or maybe you'll be an amazing chef, and make all sorts of exotic dishes." "Ant pie," he mused. "I will make pie, and fill it with ants."
Bon Appetit, my sweet boy.