There’s been an invasion on the homestead. It’s horrifying. It’s disgusting and it happens every spring, sneaking up on us, crawling up our legs, surprising us in the shower, torturing our dogs, waking us up in the night, sending small children screaming, strong women shrieking and grown men shivering in their works books.
Oh, I know it’s coming. I should be prepared. But I’m so excited about blue skies and sunshiny things that I forget about the inevitable creepy, crawly, disgusting, critters lurking in the tall grass where I’m busy frolicking.
I forget about it until I come home in the evening, refreshed and sunburned with just the right amount of dirt under my fingernails and I sit down on the couch, kick up my feet, take a deep breath, maybe close my eyes for a moment and then I feel it–that tingling sneaking along my sock line, moving past my leg hair.
Is it my leg hair? Geesh, when’s the last time I shaved?
I scratch at it.
Yup. Just leg hair.
I take a guess at the puzzle.
I nail it.
I slap my neck.
Man. I’m itchy.
Must be the fresh grass.
Must be the dried on sweat.
Must be the leg…
Arughhhh, what’s with this shit?!
What. Is. Crawling. On. Me. Oh. My. Gawd. It’s. A. Tick.
I scream and run to the toilet, where I flush the little bastard into oblivion with a satisfaction I shouldn’t be so proud of, but I am.
Because I hate them.
I. Hate. Ticks.
And there is no photo because I am not going to glamorize them in any way, even if it’s for scientific purposes.
So here’s another photo of their habitat.
Because they’re sneaky like that.
And they are also the only mortal enemy I have out here in paradise, even though I know that rationally the mountain lion sneaking in the trees is probably a bit more of a threat to me and my life.
And, oh, I hate cockle burs too.
But not as much as I hate ticks.
Once, I had one stuck to my head when I went to get my hair done. I was just trying to be fancy. I even took a shower after my ride through the coulee. I swear I scrubbed my head good, but somehow the little bastard got by. Somehow I didn’t notice when his fangs stuck to my head and the evil insect began feasting on my precious blood.
I need that blood.
Especially that blood so close to my brain.
And so close to the poor pretty hairstylist who stopped dead in her tracks when she came upon the tiny beast embedded in my scalp.
Tick. Damn you tick. That was embarrassing.
You embarrassed me.
I hate you.
I hate how you stick in my bellybutton.
I hate how you stick in my armpit.
I hate how you get really big and disgusting, like thirty times your rightful size, and you dangle off my lab’s ear.
I hate that I have to deal with that.
Because we live in the woods.
And you’re thirsty, apparently.
Thirsty enough to find your way to my bed at night, forcing me to unknowingly sleep-slap my own face, waking me up from a dream about Ryan Reynolds.
Tick. I hate you tick.
But you won’t ruin my summer. I will continue to yank you off of my body and the body of those I love and fling you back out into oblivion without the one and only appendage you need to successfully ruin my life.
You went for mine, now I’m coming for yours.
You better watch your back, tick, because Lord knows I’m watching mine.
Your mortal enemy