Where that Stink Bug Took Me

I’m thinking about stinkbugs and how my older daughter spotted one on the wall. I thought I was going to have to get involved, but I said You have a choice – you can put it in the toilet and flush it down or put it outside. She chose the toilet (which I have done many times before) so it wouldn’t come back. I wondered how wide the pipes are, I figured wide enough for a stinkbug. And I wondered if stinkbugs can hold their breath and if they can swim and I hoped that it made it all the way to the septic fields and is now happily swimming down there.

And I’m thinking about how my dad used to go down to the cellar at the farm house and pick up the rat snakes on his pitchfork and carry them up the stairs and out the screen door, across the porch, down the steps by the well and walk them over to the side of the shed, where we would all stand around, all seven of us, and watch as he cut them in pieces with an ax so they wouldn’t come back.

And I am thinking about visiting our friend David outside Woodstock and how he took a dust buster to his curtains and windowsills to suck up all the ladybugs. That place was crazy with ladybugs.

And the time Kelly-now-Pema’s son went crazy over a cockroach in his grandmother’s city kitchen and I guessed they didn’t have cockroaches in England and Kelly-now-Pema picked up the cockroach oh so gently in a tissue and carried it through the apartment outside the door to leave it on the hallway floor and I asked if she had put it on the elevator and pushed the down button.

And I’m remembering the time I woke to gentle screaming to discover our cool kitty Ernie had caught his first mouse and there in our bedroom he was traumatizing it. I didn’t know if I should say Go Ernie or save the poor mouse, but of course the mouse won- I mean, John caught it under a wastebasket and took it outside- and I still told Ernie he was a good kitty a very good kitty.

And that was different from the time that when John was in high school he was an after school janitor and once he caught a little mouse under his foot and said “Look, Stanley, I caught it” to his boss and his boss put his foot on the poor boy’s and pushed it down. John still remembers the sound of it.

I remember how last summer when our little one returned from her first time at camp, she brought home a trunk full of dirty towels and sheets and a teeny little mousey. We put the mousey in a box because we couldn’t keep it to raise it, not with our two cats and large dog. We took a picture of the mousey in the corner of the box and we took another with our little one’s hand next to it to show it’s smallness and we took the mousey out into the woods outside our house and set it free. It didn’t move when we put it there. I wonder how that mousey is doing, if it made it through the fall and the winter and how now it’s spring in this land of birds of prey.

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