Ticks are ugly. They're small. They're arachnids. They aren't exactly pretty, but there are much creepier things hiding in the grass.
Ticks bury their heads in mammals' skin and then drink...and drink...and drink. Their bodies expand to unreasonable sizes, growing to make more room for their hosts' blood. I am not a squeamish person. For the most part, I think bugs are cool. But my reaction to ticks is visceral. Just the thought of one climbing on me makes me want to jump from foot to foot while sobbing "getitoff getitoff getitoff" in an ever-higher-pitched voice.
I'll never look at a yogurt-covered raisin the same way again.
I'd never even seen a tick before moving out here. Now, I see them everywhere: on the floor of the car, clinging to my wonderdog's fur, even a dead one on the floor in my house.
One day I found a little bump on my ankle. And so - obviously - I decided to skip over "rational examination" and jump right into "blind panic":
The bump went away, but I still feel a bit sick to my stomach every time my ankle itches.
After that, I became much more vigilant about checking for ticks after walking in the woods or on the riverbank. After patting down the dog, I shake my pant legs and slide my fingers around the tops of my socks, just to be sure I don't have any hitchhikers.
Cautious. Smart. Vigilant. Right?
I'm never leaving the house again.
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Linking up with Yeah Write. (If they'll have me.)