Wednesday, April 24, 2013
All it took was one day, not even a full day, and we bonded -- me and Algernon, Billy, Cora, Deacon.
That first evening, when I took them home and showed them around, of course each reacted differently. Ephraim seemed curious, Fred, excited; Gilda, bold; and Herbert, well, Herbert struggles with some trust issues, and we'd have to work on that.
We were all of us getting sleepy, it had been a long and eventful day, so I tucked them snugly in their transitional house, a mid-century modern plastic cup situated on the porch. Tomorrow morning they'd be able to explore on their own. Good night, Iona, Jeffrey, KiKi, Lawrence, I whispered.
What happened next, I have only myself to blame. What I forgot was the automatic sprinklers, and where one sprinkler in particular points -- relentlessly -- every morning at 4 a.m.
I fished them out of the cup this morning -- Monique, Neville, Opie, Prudence -- dumped their lifeless bodies in a corner of the garden, and drew a shade cloth over the area, to cover my shame.
Six hours later I returned, and all the beetles were gone ... Quentin, Rusty, Stewart, even Ulysses. All except Trevor. Trevor is famous for his steady nerves, cocksure stride, and I-don't-give-a-damn attitude.
"What about the others," I asked. "Are they still alive?"
"Oh sure, they're alive. Most moved to the Blankenship's place on Elm Street, though I think Vera and Winston found a rental over on Santa Anita; Xochitl and Yannick might take the guest house. And Zelda likes the look of that loquat tree next door."
"Without them, my citrus might die. I need them, Trevor, desperately. What should I do?"
Trevor chewed on a bit of aphid butt contemplatively, and said, "After last night, not sure. Just one thing I can think of."
"And that would be..."
"They might listen to one of their own. A word from their higher power, if you know what I mean."
Yes, I think I do. Here's hoping.