All God's Critters . . .

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
My parents won't admit they're hippies, but I know it's true. For one thing, my brother and I grew up listening to folk music. Yep, not the golden oldies; folk music. My parents did a good job of instilling "love the earth; eat granola" mentalities in both of us, (My childhood memoir will be very boring) but lately I've been questioning the reasoning behind one folk song I remember from my childhood: Bill Staines' All God's Critters Have A Place in the Choir. 

The song has an inclusive nature. The chorus goes like this:  
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
And some just clap their hands, or paws
Or anything they got.

The lyrics go on to mention the following animals, in no particular order: bullfrog, hippopotamus, cow, dog, cat, honey bee, cricket, donkey, pony, coyote, birds, hoot owl, jaybird, duck, possum, porcupine, ox, fox, grizzly bear, alligator, hawk, raccoon, turtle dove.

That's right: not one stinkin' reference to biting insects. I'm of the mind that there's a reason for that . . . biting insects are not God's critters; they're the spawn of Satan.

Blame the wet, late spring, but it's been one buggy spring around here. We've had more than our fair share of black flies and wood ticks and even those of us who aren't particularly bothered by bugs are ready to wave the white flag and declare a truce against these nasty little buggers.  

It was bad enough when I found my first tick of the season crawling across my belly late this April. But then the black flies had a massive hatch last week. Now I can't venture outside without fearing something is crawling up my pant leg and batting manically at the mosquitoes who find the exposed flesh on my sandaled feet. (Note to self: stop wearing flip-flops.)

The bugs sneak through the screen of our open windows at night, leaving angry welts at my waistline that I itch frantically when I wake the next morning. The ticks are pros at finding my body's darkest, most secret spots and then latching on. While I've pulled (and flushed down the toilet) many ticks who have been crawling across my body, I've also found two ticks attached to my body: one under my sock line, another on my side, underneath my bra band. They make me feel violated; like I'm the one who did something wrong.

What do these lovely biting bugs ever give me other than some welts, itches, and a growing sense of insecurity as the spring months press on. They irritate loons into abandoning their nests. I understand they're part of the food chain and we Minnesotans trying to make ourselves feel better about things by subscribing to the folklore that black flies pollinate blueberries. I could easily forgive the nasty black flies if they really did have such virtuous qualities, but the fact of the matter is that the blueberry/black fly connection just isn't true.

So seriously . . . do these little critters really need to exist? Would their disappearance really cause a major disturbance in life as we know it? All I know is that mosquitoes, black flies, ticks . . . they have no place in my choir.


  1. I remember that song well! My boys love bugs...maybe they exist for them. That's all I've got : )

  2. I got really 'ticked off' at the cabin the other weekend. We had literally just walked the 30 feet from the car to the front step, and two of us had ticks.


  3. ha, this is awesome! I think they exist for little boys too. My grandson loves
    to watch bugs...and I wrote a while back how he was watching a bee at our house and I told him to be careful because they have stingers, and he said; it is my FRAV-RIT bug! :)

  4. I. Hate. Bugs. All of them. Have you heard that walking around with a fabric softener sheet in your pocket is supposed to repel mosquitos? I'd be willing to give that a try. Good luck Ada, bugs are no bueno

  5. i got viciously attacked by the worst, most horrific creature on the face of the planet last night: i GIANT brown moth. i flipped the EFF out and david had to hunt it for 10 minutes.

    biting bugs are worse, sure, but all of them flying bugs just need to go away.

  6. haha- one good thing about living in the city is that we don't really get mosquitos around here. When I go to my parents' cabin its like I REMEMBER them. This morning I thought I had a bug crawling in my shirt on the way to work. It was a piece of cereal that fell down... the shame... :)

  7. I agree! I'm one of those people with skin that bugs LOVE. I can be in a huge crowd of family and friends and will be the only one getting mosquito bites, flea bites, ticks, etc. I find no reason whatsoever for them. :)

    I'm following you back. Thanks for dropping by and following A Helicopter Mom!

    Have a great day!

  8. MY mantra in YOUR words! And I am not even a Minnesotan ;-)))

  9. i won't get into the supposed science of it... I'll just agree... because, they suck.

  10. Mosquitoes have been horrible in Georgia this year...again. But they do seem a little worse this year. I know they have their purpose (I guess) in the circle of life or whatever, but I'm with you: I hate the damn things!

  11. I can't believe that black flies don't help the blueberries! I can't count how many times I reminded myself that in another month or two I would actually feel thankful for the flies' existence!


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