There was a drain at the bottom of the driveway.

Billy got his water gun. 

“Flash flood!” he said, washing the ants down the drain. They tried to swim but it did them no good.

“Stay out of the street,” said Billy’s mother.

“Yes, ma’am,” said Billy. He knew better than to go into the street. 


“Oh boy,” said Billy. These ants were bigger. 

“Boom boom boom,” he said, making an artillery-noise as he hit them with the hammer.

Each ant left a little spot on the concrete.

“Is that your father’s good hammer?” asked Billy’s mother. “Put it back.” 


“Where are you going with that steak knife?” asked Billy’s mother.

“Playing soldier.” 

“Well, don’t go out of the yard.”

“Yes, ma’am.” There were lots of ants in the yard, by the garbage can. They were bigger than the ones in the driveway.

“Fix bayonets!” said Billy. 

The ants tried to run. 

“Die!” said Billy, as he stabbed them with the steak knife, one by one. 


There were even more ants by the garden shed.

“Enemy sighted!” said Billy. 

The ants were hiding under the grass, but it did them no good. They were almost an inch long, and easy to find.

“Bombs away!” said Billy, making an airplane noise as he dropped the bricks on them. 


“Lunch!” said Billy’s mother, from the house.

“In a minute,” said Billy. He was looking around for more ants to kill.

“Peanut butter and jelly!” said Billy’s mother.

Peanut butter and jelly was Billy’s favorite. 

“Coming!” he said. 


“Your father called,” said Billy’s mother. “He’s coming home tomorrow. He’s bringing you a present.”

“Can I have another sandwich?” asked Billy. He had a lot of ants to kill.

“May you have another sandwich,” said Billy’s mother. “And then it’s nap time.” 


Billy hated naps. He lay on his bed, on top of the covers.

He heard a scratching noise outside.

He got up and looked out the window.

There was a big ant, as big as a rat. It was trying to climb up the side of the house to the window. Its feelers were waving around.

Billy got his bow and arrows out of his toy chest. The arrows had rubber tips. He pulled them off and sharpened the arrows in his pencil sharpener. It was electric.

Then Billy leaned out the window with his bow. The first arrow bounced off the ant, but the next two went all the way through and stuck out the other side.

The ant fell on its back, waving its legs in the air. The arrows looked like extra legs. 

Then Billy heard his mother’s footsteps. He jumped back into bed and closed his eyes. 

His mother opened the door. “Are you asleep?” she whispered.

Billy knew better than to answer. 


“Go play in the back yard,” said Billy’s mother, when his nap time was over. “I’m cleaning the house.”

“Yes ma’am,” said Billy.

He took his bow with him.

The ant under the window was dead. Billy buried it in the sandbox so his mother wouldn’t see it. First he pulled out the arrows. They were covered with yellow ant blood.

“Cool,” said Billy.

He wiped them off in the grass and looked around for more ants to kill. 


He didn’t have to look far.

There was an ant on the seat of Billy’s swing.

It was as big as a cat. It had a sharp snout and big pincers. It was waving its legs and trying to swing.

Billy shot it three times but the arrows bounced off. Then he got the pitchfork out of the garden shed and speared the ant through the middle. He pinned it to the ground and watched it die.

Billy kicked the ant’s body into the bushes and swung for a while. 

Then he got tired of swinging and spun around. 


“Suppertime,” said Billy’s mother, from the house.

“In a minute,” said Billy.

There was an ant between him and the back door. It was as big as a dog. He would have to kill it, but how?

Billy got the shovel out of the garden shed and raised it over his head. It was heavy and the blade was sharp. 

He hit the ant twice, breaking it into three pieces. He watched from the back steps as each piece died separately.

Then he went inside to eat. 


“How big do ants get?” 

“How should I know?” said Billy’s mother. “Eat your brussels sprouts.”

“I don’t like brussels sprouts,” said Billy.

“Eat them anyway,” said his mother. “Then you can watch TV for one hour before bed time.” 


Billy was watching his favorite show when he felt the couch rock, back and forth.

Uh oh, he thought.

He waited till his mother left the room, then looked behind the couch.

There was an ant, as big as a boy. It was looking up at him. Each eye was made out of lots of little eyes. 

Billy grabbed a poker from the fireplace and jammed it into the ant’s eyes, first one and then the other. Yellow stuff came out. After a while, the couch stopped rocking.

“What are you doing?” asked Billy’s mother.

“Nothing,” said Billy. 


“Bed time,” said Billy’s mother.

There was a little hatchet by the fireplace. Billy’s father used it for splitting kindling.

Billy took it to bed with him.

“May I leave the light on?” he asked.

“You know you’re too big for that,” said Billy’s mother. 


Billy’s room was dark.

The house was quiet.

Something was in the closet, thumping. It sounded big.

Billy got out of bed and pushed his dresser against the closet door. It was heavy and hard to move.

It wasn’t heavy enough, though. At about midnight the dresser began to slide. The closet door creaked open.

Billy hid under the covers, but the ant knew where to find him. It was as big as a man. It had a sharp snout and huge pincers. It had long hairy legs. It climbed up onto the bed and pulled at the covers with its pincers.

It pulled them off.

Billy swung the hatchet. He chopped off two legs but the ant kept coming. Billy swung again and the ant grabbed the hatchet with its sharp snout and snapped it in half.

Then it snapped Billy in half. 


“Where’s Billy?” asked Billy’s father, the next day, when he got home. 

“The ants ate him,” said Billy’s mother.

“Those little devils,” said Billy’s father. “That Billy was a nice boy. Look. I even brought him a present.”

He took it out of the bag. It was an ant farm.

Billy’s mother held it up to the light. 

“Billy wouldn’t have liked it anyway,” she said. “They’re all dead.” 

The end