Family Conference

I stare out the picture window at a sky. It spreads up there ordinary as buttered bread on a table. Underneath it one block in the neighborhood stares back. The Connollys get into their blue station wagon. No pushing, no fighting, the doors slam shut–they move off down the street. Mr. Hampton mows his lawn and next-door Mrs. Sullivan pulls weeds.

One black fly (Diptera; Muscidae) buzzes up and down the window frame looking for escape, or maybe not. I have a microscope in my room, a pile of dead insects in a cigar box: moths, spiders, flies, bees, a few beetles, two butterflies and one glorious preying mantis.

Fact: One fly strip a week every summer guarantees over a hundred slaughtered. I pull a few live ones off with forceps, place them under the scope, and watch them die.

Just a sampling of this story.


Leave a Reply