Thursday, July 27, 2006

Too much empathy

I am the Great Fly Killer. I hate the things. I hate the way they buzz around my face while I’m knitting (I think they sense my hands are busy, because they will wait all day long until I sit down in the rocking chair before they start buzzing me – never while I’m folding laundry or working on the laptop). I hate the way they {shudder} crawl on my kitchen counters, searching for food.

They’re dirty, horrid little insects and when I see one in my house, I turn into the Great Fly Hunting Ninja of Doom. I’ll stalk around like I’m hunting a fox or something, crouch and all, until I finally get the quarry in my sights. Steady…steady…aaaaaaiiimmmmm…


But today, I was sitting here in my office working when I heard the most tremendous buzzing commotion from the windowsill. What the…?

I look over there and I see a fly that has made a grave, grave mistake. It is frantically trying to free itself from the spider web it wandered into.

We’ve got a Code F, in the office! I repeat, Code F!!! This is not a drill!!!

So I dive out of the room, grab the flyswatter, and come rushing back in…just in time to watch the spider pounce on the poor thing.

Big, fat, hairy and all business, that spider swarmed out from between the wall and the window and had that fly wrapped up faster than Shelob enrobed Frodo, then dragged the twitching thing deep into the window runners.

I felt unspeakably sorry for that poor fly. That poor, poor fly that I had been about two seconds from squashing out of existence, yes. That one.

I felt stomach-churningly bad for it.

Spiders and snakes both bother me that way. A cat pouncing on a mouse doesn’t bother me a bit (unless the cat then drags it into my house and shows it off proudly: “Look! I caught you a mouse! Aren’t I clever?!”), but a snake unhinging its jaw and swallowing one bugs me infinitely.

My whacking a fly into the fly-afterlife with a plastic swatter not only doesn’t bother me, it gives my poor shallow life a kind of meaning. Sure, I didn’t do a darned thing to further world peace today, but by GOD! I sent four horrid nasty flies to the fly-hereafter!!

But watching a spider get one made my toes curl up. Ugh.

Poor thing.

Poor disgusting, horrid little thing…

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