MANASSAS, VA. (Heewack News Network) -- Just one ant survived a vicious massacre allegedly perpetrated by two eight-year-olds at a playground in this former Civil War city.
The carnage occurred at Bull Run Playground, at a site that will be forever commemorated in ant lore as "Japanese Beetle Battlefield." More than 100 members of the formicinae hymenoptera colony known as Zeta Kappa Alpha 5987 died in the assault by Jason Taproot, 8, and Eric Laundryvent, also 8, of the nearby Potmac South Gardens apartment complex.
The attack's sole survivor, ZKA Worker Clone "Sparky" X45, said a colony patrol had discovered the carcass of a Japanese beetle at the playground and was in the process of systematically dismembering and transporting the body to the home colony when Taproot and Laundryvent suddenly showed up.
The precocious eight-year-olds allegedly had a number of weapons with them, including a magnifying glass, several rocks, shoes and a basketball.
"We realized it was a trap," Sparky said. "They knew the colony would enjoy the Japanese beetle, a summer delicacy, and they were ready for us."
Taproot allegedy aimed the magnifying glass at the beetle carcass, which was being worked on by about 50 members of the patrol. After a moment, Sparky said, one of his co-workers, "Nurk," suddenly curled up and began emitting smoke.
"We scattered," Sparky said, "but it was too late." Seconds later, a shoe wielded by Laundryvent came crashing down, crushing most of the patrol. Sparky survived only because the air compression of the shoe flung him several inches away into a clump of grass.
"Thank goodness for my exoskeleton, which saved me," Sparky said. "Unfortunately, exoskeletons are only so effective against a patent leather sole."
As Sparky scrambled back toward the colony, he saw Taproot grab the basketball and start dribbling over the spot of the carnage.
"At that point, I knew I would be the only one coming back," Sparky said.
The International Ant Federation condemned the massacre. In a letter to the Potomac South Gardens Management Company, Ant Supreme Ruler Acropyga Lepisiota IV demanded that Taproot and Laundryvent be prosecuted for their crimes. A spokesman for the management company said they were "reviewing the letter" and would have no comment at this time.
A spokesant for the colony queen, ZKA Britney XXI, also declined to comment, noting that "the queen is grieving for her children lost to this wave of senseless violence."
Sparky said the colony is considering bringing in some fire ants to shore up their defenses. "If we'd only had some stingers or some formic acid, more of us could have survived," he said in a mix of remorse and anger.