Dear Neutral Gender, Anthropomorphized, Parental-Unit Nature:
I put up with a lot from the sadistic creatures you seem to love so much (you’ve made so many of them!): stings, bites, nips, scratches, rashes, hives, unwilling blood donation, as well as various and sundry other unpleasant reactions resulting from the activities of your offspring. I have never fought back; I’ve never even killed a fly. When your beloved minions enter my abode, I gently catch them and take them outside. When I’m outside, I take the laissez-faire attitude that the outside is their home, and I am the intruder.
Oh, sure — I do use mosquito repellant (a natural one, not something poisonous like Deet), and I have knocked down wasp nests to keep those kamikazes from dive-bombing me as I enter and leave my home (my home, not theirs), but otherwise, I’ve let your creatures do what they will.
But yesterday, as I was standing innocuously, talking to a neighbor over the fence, a red fire ant attacked me. Oh, my. What a horror! The pain was like a hot knife sliding into my flesh. Even worse, it bit me not once, not twice, but five times. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.
I’ve been stung by hornets that didn’t feel as bad. I’ve been bitten by dogs that didn’t hurt so much. I’ve been splashed with boiling oil, resulting in second and third degree burns that didn’t burn as hotly. I’ve had bee stings that didn’t swell as much. I’m battling dozens of mosquito bites at the moment, and the totality of those bites, as horrifically aggravating as they are, can’t compare to the brutality of those ant bites all up and down my leg. Even after I iced the bite sites, even after I applied insect-bite soothing creams, even after taking a pain pill and an antihistamine, the agony stayed. And stayed. And stayed. The pain is not as harsh this morning, but still, I’ve had enough.
I’m through. I’m through with being your plaything. Through with being a victim of your casual cruelties.
I’m giving due notice. Remove your troops immediately or I will declare war. Admittedly, all of the ants on this property combined probably weigh more than I do, and their arsenal is effective and very painful, but mine is more deadly. Well, it will be as soon as I figure out what my weapon is.
So take heed! This human you’ve treated worse than a worm has turned.
Fed-up in Colorado
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator