I’m not sure if any of you are aware of it or not, but there is a war going on in The Castle these days.
It has been raging for months, actually, but since I am not particularly fussed by six-legged creatures, I have not felt it necessary to call in Pest Control. Not yet, anyway.
I have tried to maintain peace with the enemy by relocating most creatures with more than four legs to the outside; moths, spiders, even house flies if I can manage to shoo them in the right direction, though in the latter case, I will admit to mounting a fly-swatter counter-offensive from time to time. Out of sheer frustration! (Flies, as it happens, are not the brightest bulbs in the box.)
HH, on the other hand, is most put out by all multi-legged and non-fur-bearing creatures. It is He who is insisting we stop seeking peace with the enemy and just nuke the lot of them.
This morning, as he pulls open our bedroom curtains onto yet another grey Thursday fog-rise, he gives an outraged shriek.
I know immediately it must be a shriek of insectoid origin.
“Gaaa! The ladybugs* are back!”
I sigh. “They’re just ladybugs, hun. They don’t bite, well, unless you’re an aphid…”
“Didn’t I ask you to vacuum behind the curtains? That’s where they lay their seeds.”
“They’re eggs, babe. Beetles lay eggs. Plants lay seeds. But yes, I did vacuum the curtains. And the rafters and the skirting boards and under the bed and behind the wardrobe. I didn’t find a single ladybug.”
HH snorts. Almost like he can’t envision me working that hard on anything “house-work” related. Noting the layer of dust on my dresser top, I admit silently he may have a point, and I might have stretched the truth just the teeniest bit. But there was definitely a hoover in our bedroom sometime in the last couple weeks. Ok month. It’s been a month. But I haven’t seen any ladybugs, and that part, at least, is true!
“They’re attacking again,” he grouses. “They’re everywhere! Let’s just call this ‘Attack number 435’. I’ve had to start numbering them. Just like the World Wars.”
If nothing else, my beloved HH has certainly mastered the art of hyperbole.
Rolling my eyes, I stop fiddling with my earrings and turn toward the window. “Alright,” I say, rolling up my sleeves for battle – “where is this alleged ladybug?”
“On the window.”
I squint, but pre-coffee and pre-contacts, I can’t see much but a grey blur set inside the frame of curtains. “Where?”
“RIGHT THERE!” He thunders, pulling his robe tighter against the possibility of beetle-kooties, and jabbing an accusing finger in the direction of the enemy.
I make my way around to his side of the bed and cock my head. I must admit, I have to strain my eyes a bit to see it, but sure enough, it is there.
The enemy is making a slow sweep around the perimeter of my window frame.
“Well, I’ll be,” I say, grabbing my iPhone to snap this quick recon photo of our household nemesis.
Realising it has been identified, our ladybug suddenly sprouts wings and flies off to a covert location somewhere behind my stack of shoe boxes. I expect she is calling in reinforcements as we speak.
And so the war rages on.
We may – or may not – live to see tomorrow…
*Yes, I know well the ladybug is probably more correctly known as the ladybird. But not in this house. HH, suffering in the early stages of coccinellidaephobia, views this cheery little beetle as a BUG not a bird. So ladybug she is! Frankly, I rather like them. But then, unlike HH, I’ve never had one crawl over me in my sleep…
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feature image: Drawception