It's the Fourth of July, and Elmer decides to have a picnic. When he starts chucking firecrackers, one of them lands near an anthill and pops, making the ants mad. Amused by the ants' complaints, Elmer deliberately begins blasting the anthills to pieces, causing the ants to declare war on him.
The ants organize a military force and train themselves for the retribution campaign. While Elmer takes a nap, the ants steal some of his firecrackers for their own use, then surround his tent and start a siege. Elmer fights back vigorously, but even though he scores a few successes, the ants eventually begin to overwhelm him with their adaptability, greater numbers and thorough military organization, including their navy and air force. Notable scenes include:
- Elmer creeps up on an anthill complex, plunging a lit firecracker down one chute and then stoppering it shut with his finger, causing the blast to blow all the ants present out of their tunnels, dazed and charred.
- An ant carrying a tiny firecracker sneaks up Elmer's defense rampart, only to find Elmer looming menacingly above him. The ant hurls the firecracker and runs off, and Elmer, amused, picks the tiny cracker up. However, as the cracker goes off, it creates a disproportionately strong explosion which leaves Elmer's face blackened.
- While Elmer throws firecrackers to the ants, he spots a periscope behind him. He sneaks to it and places a firecracker in it. An ant soldier was watching and notices he found the periscope. The General sees a soldier watching in the periscope. He pushes and kicks him out of the way. Then, he takes a peek in the periscope, and the firecracker blasts him, leaving him charred. The soldier he recently abused tries to help him. Enraged, the General rabidly kicks him more while the soldier tries to escape.
- Elmer notices an ant attempting to stuff a firecracker into the back pocket of his pants. When the ant notices it has been spotted, it quickly extinguishes the fuse, offers the explosive to Elmer, and then sheepishly moves away. When Elmer takes the cracker in his hand to inspect it, it suddenly pops out a larger, spherical bomb, which blows up. However, it did not blast him. Except, it charred his arm and demolishes his wristwatch.
- Elmer screws together a pipeline to the ant army's headquarters to deliver a firecracker by blowing it through the line. One of the ants nails a rubber band across the other end of the pipe, causing the firecracker to bounce back and end up in Elmer's stomach. As Elmer tries to quench the fuse with a water cooler, the cracker goes off, blasting Elmer into the cooler's tank.
Elmer beats a hasty retreat, without noticing that his remaining fireworks have been ruptured and are leaking powder. As Elmer disappears in the distance, all a bold ant has to do is light the powder fuse, which goes after Elmer and sets off his fireworks. As the American stars appear in the sky amidst the explosions, the ants give a salute to the spirit of freedom.
- The leader of the ants is based on Harry S Truman, who was President in 1953, and the cardboard box on which he makes his verbal speech, is based on the Capitol building.
- Despite the cartoon's title card depicting Elmer in his usual hunting clothes, Elmer never wore his hunting clothes at all in this cartoon.
- The water drink scene is similar to the one in "Bad Ol' Putty Tat".
- Cartoon Network and Boomerang aired a PAL print.
- The re-restored HBO Max print of this short messes up the original 1952-53 ending card, and replaces it with a 1955-56 ending card.
When this short aired on CBS in the 1970s and 1980s, the scene of one of the ants planting a dynamite stick on Elmer and Elmer snatching it, only for a round bomb to pop out and blow up in Elmer's hand, which blackens it and ruins his wristwatch was cut to remove the aftermath of the explosion.