too many words by laura lemay


‘What’s this?” Eric said, picking up the strange grey thing from the blankets and putting it in his palm. It had been sitting on the bed where the cat had been sleeping just before. “Its…kind of squishy…” he said, dubiously, poking it with his finger.

I looked over. The thing in his palm was the size and shape of a peanut, or a raisin, but dark grey and shiny. “Let me see,” I asked, and picked it up. It was squishy, soft and leathery, like a grape with an especially thick skin. “Is it some sort of chrysalis?” I wondered, turning it over. Curled along one end of the peanut there was a row of what appeared to be stitches made of very thin wire. WTF?

And then as I stared at it the stitches all came loose at once, and wiggled. The stitches were legs. “Euuuughhhh,” I said. “Its a tick.”

“THAT can’t be a tick,” Eric said, aghast, as I bolted for the door, “Its TOO BIG.”

“They get that big if they’ve been feeding for a while,” I said, and we both looked over at the cat. Eewwwwwwwwww. Ewwwww! EW! Ew! Ew!

This was not my first experience with ticks around here. But you will have to forgive me for not taking a picture of the big grey tick and sharing it with you, because frankly I am only now, hours later, able to control the spasms of revulsion.