I love nature, as much as the next person. I love watching Untamed Uncut on Discovery, traveling into the interiors of the Amazon (or is it the Florida everglades?) with Steve Irwin, and trekking in the Nilgiris to catch a glimpse of the rare flying squirrel. But my love for Nature stops just outside my home. I do not like Nature so much that I invite her in.
Why is that, you may ask. Well, it is rainy season in Kerala. The best time to commune with Nature, in all her pristine glory. But certainly not the best time to keep your house free of nature.
Don’t get me wrong here. I am not talking about mosquitoes, lizards, flies, cockroaches, ants (the white ant and the red and the black ant) or even the occasional stray dog. No matter where you live in the world, I defy you to tell me that you have never seen these inside your homes. So, I am not concerned about these occasional guests who come and go. I am talking about the “others”.
Take the slug, for instance. It literally creeps me out. I know it cannot outrun me but maybe it doesn’t know that? They are okay crawling on my lawn or sleeping on my car, but I draw the line when “Sluggy” wants to get into my shoes or use my toilet.
And what about the “pooram”? I have heard horror stories where this slippery centipede has forced itself into a small boy’s ears and laid eggs, causing brain damage! I know they are all your creations, but God, do I have to sleep with them?
Finally what about the water snake? Uh? What is it about me, and my house, that attracts these pests in such variety and quantity? And don’t get me started on the neighborhood tabby using my lawn as her potty every other night. Right now my lawn is living proof that Erma Bombeck got it right with her book “The grass is always greener over the septic tank”.
Slug? check. Water snake? check. Cat? Check. Have I forgotten anyone? Ah, yes. I can excuse all these creatures, but what in Heaven’s name was a rat doing inside my Hyundai Santro? It ate bits of my steering wheel, my seat covers in the rear (Or were my kids responsible for that!) and the side casing on my battery. I paid Rs. 1500 to get the entire thing fumigated and cleaned.
So the next time I see a pest, I am going to scream – Stop! right there, right now. This may be a free country and you are all God’s creatures, big and small and large and beautiful, but please crawl back to the gutter you came from. I have enough pests at home to deal with. Until they go to College atleast!