It’s Spring in the sticks, and the critters are all pumped up about it.

Twice, now, I’ve had to stop the car to wait for teenage punk deer to cross the road. They just stand there and stare at you, then look at each other and sneer about you having to stop. They shrug and ignore you, take a step forward to tease you, then step back. Then one of them says, “Come on, boyz–let’s blow this Popsicle stand!” and off they go. If you live in the city, you probably think deer are all baby Bambis, but I’m here to tell you, deer are BIG. They’re tough suckers, too. If your car tangles with a deer, chances are the car is going to be totaled and the deer is going to walk away. You see dead deer along the roadside, but you gotta know they tow the cars away–for every ex-deer you see, there are many more ex-cars.

Twice, too, I’ve been late for an appointment because there were wild turkeys in the front yard. In that case, I didn’t wait out of caution, but because I love watching them. Wild turkeys are svelte and streamlined as torpedoes except when they’re displaying. One day, there was only one turkey, and he was as big as the dog, just wandering around on his lonesome. The other time, there was a flock of them, with a Tom displaying, all puffed up like a Thanksgiving decoration. When one of them noticed us looking out of the window, he dropped the puff-daddy thing. I tried to get a picture of them, but they all flew away. Yes, FLEW. Wild turkeys fly. I’ve never seen one go above the treetops, but they can certainly fly high up INTO the trees, and I’m talking 70-100 feet up.

Less charming for most of us, the flying roaches are feeling frisky. One got in last night and freaked the cat. I was like, “Cats are supposed to catch roaches! Cats are supposed to eat roaches!” and the cat was like, “Not just no, but hell no! You eat it!” Well, I didn’t eat it, but I’m sorry to say I sent it to Jesus. If I were a truly nice person, I would have caught it and put it outside to frolic and live a meaningful insect life. My bad.

MA

writing prompt: How does your main character feel about bugs/insects? Hate them all, like them all, hate some and like others, neutral about them all? I have one daughter who loves spiders but freaks about any kind of beetle, and one who is okay with beetles but freaks about spiders. Neither of them can stand a cricket or a grasshopper.

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