stalkingBugs terrify me. I am especially afraid they will creep over, under, or—most horribly—inside of me when I am sleeping. Disgusting: army ant, bed bug, blister beetle, chigger, chinch bug, cicada, cockroach, cut worm, earwig, fever tick, flea, fly, gnat, leafhopper, maggot, mealworm, midge, moth, pirate bug, potato bug, rat louse, sawfly, silverfish, slug, spider, stink bug, strider, tiger mosquito, walkingstick, wasp, water bug, weevil, whitefly, yellow jacket. For starters.

So when at 3:00 in the morning I see a round, shriveled brown bug in the middle of my floor, I jump back, cry OH!, and go to find a glass jam jar to trap the dreaded thing because, despite my terror, I think I will be sent promptly to hell if I kill it.

I circle around it several times, dip down low, and blow on it to see if it is alive. It doesn’t move. Then, I trap it with the jar and slowly inch a piece of cardboard underneath so I can take it outside and set it free. I creep down the stairs—careful not to move my upturned palm for fear the cardboard will slip and I will lose my charge. Once at the front door, I lean my elbow on the handle while simultaneously pushing it open with my shoulder, make ready to dump this little chip of vermin on the porch, and trip.

My hand and the cardboard come away from the jar, and the thing falls out by my feet. I race upstairs to get my glasses so I can see where it has got to, but when I return I discover that it has not moved a muscle. I kneel down to determine what’s up and find out I had trapped a raisin.


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