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3:40pm on Wednesday, 18th July, 2012:

Red in Tooth and Claw


We had two of my nieces and their boyfriends to stay for a couple of days as part of their road trip visiting relatives across the country. While over at my mother's, I brushed against a honeysuckle bush and apparently picked up a few thunderbugs (I don't know if that's what their real name is, but that's what we always called them; they're black, 2mm long, 1mm wide and so flat they can crawl under the glass on frames photos). I think that's where I got them because later in the day one of my nieces (the one with dyspraxia) accidentally walked into the bush (told you she had dyspraxia!) and released a cloud of them.

Anyway, we were having lunch when the other of my nieces (the Buddhist — it's the religion of choice for physicists who don't want to be atheists) spotted these black insects crawling out of my hair. She picked one up to examine it, but it escaped and started crawling over her hand. She tried to brush it off but it battened down and wouldn't leave. Then, it started to crawl towards the safety of up her sleeve.

She immediately turned to her sister. "I can't kill it — you kill it!" she instructed.

I told her that this was the Buddhist equivalent of extraordinary rendition.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).