If Ticks could Talk Part Six (my name is Luna)
Written by Jenny O’Dea, Ireland © May 2011
“Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away”
My name is Luna & this is part six of my story. I haven’t been doing much lately; it was too cold to be out in the open so I stayed well hidden among leaves. One day fluffy white balls fell from the sky. I couldn’t understand it, was the sky falling? What did it all mean?
I heard children running past saying ‘it’s snowing, it’s snowing, let’s build a snowman!’ I felt a blanket of warmth when a layer built up so I settled down in my snowy, leaf laden bunker & waited for the warm days to begin. I remember Fantaz telling me “My advice to you is to lie low & once a warm day arrives, when the sun shines low in the sky & the frost begins to thaw, the animals will be more active. Then you can climb higher & latch onto a warm blooded host as it brushes past.”
Small flowers were beginning to push their way through the dank soggy leaves of Winter & I could feel a sense of anticipation of new life in the air. ‘Time to limber up & look for my next host’, I thought. I crawled around to get my bearings & looked across at a shimmering translucent pool of water. I could see animals take a drink there, with steamy heat coming from their bodies, arising through the cool Spring air.
Wow, this is so beautiful – I could see reflections of trees in the water. I clambered up a long blade of grass & tried to climb higher still. Fantaz said I should find a larger host for my next blood meal & taller grasses will help me find them. As I clambered up my weak legs after the Winter sleep caused me to fall, oh no, I was heading straight for the water. ‘This is not good’ I thought to myself, ‘this is soo not good.’
My little legs made it so hard to get back to the side & a gust of wind caused a tide to wash me away. ‘This is the end’ I thought to myself, ‘no more Luna!’ Luckily my slim body allowed me to float & I drifted for quite some time until I nodded off to sleep.
Suddenly I was jolted awake by a big splash. I looked up & saw a man throwing sticks into the water. ‘Why is that?’ I thought to myself. A yellowy coloured dog then leapt in after the stick & paddled its way back to shore. As he leapt in I was pushed by a wave to the edge of the water amongst the reeds. The dog leapt in again yapping wildly in excitement. He found the stick & paddled back to shore. This time I managed to grasp hold of his fur & with my tiny hooks on the end of my legs I grabbed on hard. The dog reached the owner & shook himself hard to release the water but I buried myself under his collar to stay safe.
Phew! I think I made it. My little trip into the water brought me to my very next host. That being said, I may just stay here a while!
Luna is now a nymph tick. She spent the Winter lying low so she is now ready to feed. Her next quest is to become an adult tick. Will she make it or will the dog’s owner spot her first?
Jenny O’Dea, Ireland © May 2011 – if any of this text is used please give credit to the author & blog site!