A long time ago, in 1960 to be exact, I was in Kindergarten and it was my turn to take a treat for the class party. There were always three or four of us that had to take something in. We had more parties then. I think we had one for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Lincoln, Washington (this was before they combined their birthdays into Presidents Day), Valentines, Easter, and the last day of school. Lots of parties.
For the Christmas party, it was my turn. There were a lot of us kids at home and my mom didn’t work (most moms didn’t work then) and my dad worked a low paying cannery job. So there wasn’t a lot of money to buy treats for my class. The night before the party, my mom realized she had forgotten to buy something and she didn’t have supplies for cookies or cupcakes. We did, however, have a big package of individually wrapped candy canes so it was decided that I would take candy canes. When it was time to count them out and put them in a bag to take the next morning, my mom noticed that some of the candy canes had ants inside the package. We didn’t have enough of the ones with no ants for my class. There was no money and no time to go get anything else.
My mom decided they would try to get the ants out. She figured out that if she shook them and tapped them gently, she could get the ants to go out the little opening in the package. So there we were, my mom, my brothers, and I, shaking and tapping the candy canes gently to cajole the ants to get out of the package until we had enough for the whole class.
The next day, I took the candy canes to my class and everyone was happy. No one ever knew, outside of our family, about the ants in the candy canes, until now.