When he was nine, his father had the tree in their front yard cut down. It turned out, the tree was riddled with an ant warren, and the last big cut cross sectioned the main hive area. It was fascinating, watching them scurry about. He imagined they were as bleary as when his mother opened the blinds in his room on Sunday afternoon, and asked him why he was still in his work clothes, asked him when he'd gotten home.
"Those poor ants." He said. And his mother, momentarily pale and tight mouthed, had poured two kettles of boiling water into the tree trunk. He said, "It's a good thing we can't hear ants scream."
"They don't know what pain is." His mother replied, and went back inside.