Nature can inspire and Nature can gross you out.
When the redhead summoned me this morning she was holding something in a tissue.
It looked like a shiny gray grape.
Except the grape had legs, and they were waving feebly.
It was a bloated tick -- perhaps the American dog tick, but given the course of events I will never know for sure.
"I found it on the carpet!" said my wife.
Now I want to make one thing perfectly clear.
I'm an attentive dog owner. I check the dog for ticks every day, and observe his scratching and grooming patterns.
When I pluck a tick from Fred's hide he can't wait to sniff it.
In his dog-mind the smell of the tick is proof that the discomfort of its removal wasn't just another human trick. (Well, that's my reading of it.)
I was wondering how Fred could have nourished this bloated thing for at least a week without my notice, when the redhead asked, "How can I kill it?"
A vial of alcohol seemed advisable, but before I could articulate my thought I witnessed a surreal moment of life in slow motion.
She gave the tick the big squeeze, and I could hear my voice echoing,
"D O N ' T D O T H A T. . . ."
It was too late.
The tick exploded, the redhead yelped, and a black glob of semi-digested dog blood spattered her throat.
It was like a scene from The Godfather.
The tick was no longer a suitable specimen, and I called out to her as she hurried to the sink:
"Couldn't you wait till I got a picture of it?"