happybat: (spider)
[personal profile] happybat
Consider the noble centipede...

I am not a fan of the many many legged. I remember watching one with fascination in a childhood garden, but things took a downturn after. The key moment was the night of my final Final exam (philosophy of maths) when I got up to go to the loo, saw a centipede making its earnest curvy path across the bathroom rug, had complete hysterics and woke my partner of the time to get up and deal with the monster. Poor man, he ventured through and instead of the three foot monstrosity I had described, he found a piece of fluffy string. He flushed it and returned to tell me the monster was vanquished. I was unsure of his sincerity and required him to return with me and THERE IT WAS processing across the floor! Clearly, it had lain in wait for me.

Seventeen years later, the first centipede of my solo existence looped and curved across the floor towards me last night. I am awed by my own bravery in capturing it, having hysterics as it strove mightily to escape its juice glass prison, sliding my polling card below it and then throwing it out the window. It was sort of reddish, and it had many legs. Probably some of those legs had venomous claws on them.

Because they are territorial, it is unlikely I will see another for a while. Because they eat other insects, I am a little worried about untidy neighbours having some kind of infestation, and have resolved to be extra scrupulous about cleaning my floors. Because I live alone, and a hysterical terror of small creatures that can't really hurt me all that much is unbecoming, I have resolved to learn to love the centipede.

So I am trying to admire the creature's sinuous grace. It was really a very fetching shade of red. There was a lovely symmetry about the many body sections, and the long bits on its bum that looked like antennae matched the actual antennae on its head. It is a noble hunter, and lives in solitary splendour, defending its territory and preying on many much more destructive creatures. It... let me catch it? It enterprisingly crawled its way up to a first floor flat...

I am not sure I will be able to love the centipede.
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May 2016

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