... lay there under the harsh light, waiting to be disposed. All victims of the same killing spree, they had died within minutes, if not seconds of each other. Limbs were crumpled against their still forms, yet even in death, their torsos sowed the bloated evidence of their bloody and parasitic existence.
Image from here
Gentle readers, I killed three mosquitoes yesterday. So what, you may ask, it's three less mosquitoes, but no big deal. It was a big deal for me though... it was the first time in seventeen years that I had deliberately, with malice aforethought, killed another creature.
Yes, I'm one of those* people. I let mossies suck my blood while I move to a window or doorway and flick them off. I fish spiders out of toilet bowls. I catch roaches in silisili bags and throw them out. I painstakingly remove each little ant before I wash a neglected teacup.
Yesterday morning, my baby woke up with nearly 20 livid scarlet bumps all over her little body... on her face, arms and legs. Despite our best efforts, a bloodsucker had got in through the defenses of her cot and spent a merry few hours feasting on her. I was heartbroken at her plight and furious with myself for not detecting the creature before such damage was done. By evening, she began to develop a reaction around the bites, and her entire skin was turning a deep and angry pink. The poor little thing was quite distressed and cried for nearly an hour, and worse still, refused milk.
In my paranoid state I was thinking of all the dire possibilities from some sort of mutant dengue, to chicken pox to Kawasaki disease. Her doctor confirmed that yes, these are nasty insect bites causing an allergic reaction and she was then slathered in calamine lotion.
I covered her with her net, checked that the edges were firmly against the bed and went for dinner. When I came back, a fat, bloated creature had somehow wriggled inside and was buzzing around, clearly replete. I felt nothing but sharp clear fury (not my daughter, you bitch!**) as I squashed it to oblivion.
Later, as the body count mounted, I felt a sort of sick remorse... but my daughter is more important (to me) than a swarm of pests.
Where do you draw the line when in comes to avihimsa (non-violence?)
* no, I'm not vegetarian, but I do try... I eat meat maybe 2-3 times a week, usually in the form of pastries and pizza topping.
** Molly Weasley, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows