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Even Superheroes Have Weaknesses

I’ve been working at a good friend’s farm a couple days a week, helping her to prep for winter. It’s been awesome. But today something traumatic [read: not actually traumatic to most people] happened, and I thought I would share it with you.

She has this great cat. To preserve his dignity and anonymity, we’ll call him Agent Orange. Agent Orange is usually out keeping the farm free of thieving mice, but today when I arrived, he was inside. He made sure I was aware that he wanted to go outside with much mewing and making pretty cat faces at me. I explained that, as a member of the primate family, there is a social protocol I must follow: whatever the alpha team decides, goes. If Agent Orange was inside, he was to remain inside.

He wasn’t impressed with my explanation. He sat solemnly by the door, watching the gray rain clouds roll by. After giving him a little sympathy affection, I noticed a dark, fat, oblong berry on the floor. My boss is always growing exciting things and so I bent down to pick it up, wondering which plant it had escaped from.

Then I noticed the berry had hairs. Six of them. Just on one end.

And then the hairs each began to move independently.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full tick, and out of sheer horror, I dropped it back onto the floor and let out a yelp. At this point, I should tell you that out of everything in the natural world, the only critters that give me the heebie jeebies areĀ ticks. Like big heebies. Huge ones. Uncontrollable heebies. I’m actually itching right now, just remembering the little monster.

It must have fallen off of Agent Orange, as Agent Calico – the other house kitty – doesn’t travel out-of-doors. After several minutes of uncontrollable spasms and “BLEH!” sounds, I finally calmed down (okay, so I’m still making “bleh” sounds right now) and got rid of the little bugger. I thought to take a picture of it for the blog as proof, but, well.. ew.

I then quietly informed Agent Orange that we were no longer on speaking terms, and got back to work.

Can you believe it? A silly little tick can give a naturalist the shakes! What gives you the hibbity jibbities? Is it ticks? Snakes? Leave it in the comments and thanks for reading! :)