In Her Dreams

I love bugs, their crunchy outsides and gooey middle. Ants are good for a snack. Tiny grease ants burn more calories than they’re worth, but two burly carpenters and I’m full for an hour. Ladybugs are good for lunch, or a beetle, but no stink bugs thank you very much. And any time’s good for a spider — the bigger and hairier the happier I am.

Were I to venture outdoors, I would be eaten by bugs or birds or other wild beasts bigger than me. I know this, because I just escaped from out there through a tiny chink in the basement wall. Not enough caulk in the ’verse can keep me out there. There — where they stalk you, quiet as breath.

I lost a hind leg — a left one, if you’re curious — to a stealthy barn cat. Never heard a thing until “Crunch.” Now the gang around the garbage can calls me “Stub.”

Inside, I still dodge cats, but they’ve lost the knack to hunt. I hear them, thumping across the floor or snoring in their noisy sleep, dreaming of the big kill. None of them dare to take me on; I’m as long as the shoe I like to hide in. In shades of brown I blend in, and my 100 — strike that — 99 legs move me fast under a counter where I can’t be seen, or behind the cat box just out of reach.

My biggest threat is that two-legged creature. She’s huge. And loud.

I was hiding in the folds of her face towel last night when she reached to dry her hands, and didn’t she scream! She threw the towel — and me — on the floor. I skittered into a crack behind the old door frame.

Now (goofy giggle) any time she reaches for that towel she gets nervous, like I’m still in it, but I’m long gone — or maybe I’m in the curtain just behind her head.

As size goes, I’m her biggest nightmare.

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