“Well, I Would!”

02/04/11 11:05 AM

“You have a bug on you!” exclaimed a stranger standing behind me  in an outdoor public space.

“”Where?” I said.

“On your shoulder,”  she said. “Look!”

Pointing begins.

It’s spring in New England. Bugs reappear after a lonely, cold, long winter.  The return of bugs—or as my science teacher friend corrects me “insects”—are a natural occurrence during spring. They are as familiar as the return of Robins grousing around my lawn for big  juicy worms.

I like insects.

“KILL IT!”  she snapped.


“The Bug.”    “Kill it.”


“Because it’s gross.”

“What’s gross?”


“It is?”  “How so?”

This woman lectured me.

“If I had a bug on my shoulder, I would kill it.

My reply: “You DON’T have a bug on your shoulder; I do.”

Disgust turned to anger on her part.

The conversation continues. My turn.

“It deserves to live”  I delivered this sentence like a cunning  chess move.

A strange hue of red swept across her face.

“I cannot kill it. This insect has a mother! There is no reason to kill it. I’ll just move it to that  branch over there (pointing) where it can crawl and do things insects like to do–like land on people’s shoulders.”

Disgust turns to fuming. Fuming is not a pretty sight– especially coming from a person whom I never met in my life before.

 The last words were hurled my way…………

“I would have KILLED IT.”

Heavy emphasis were placed on the words “I” and “KILLED.”

No reply from me.

I purposely let her words reverberate as our exchange terminated like a balloon bursting; that shocked look before tears roll.

Spring in New England.

Insects abound.

An  insect’s life is spared.

All is well in my world.

Brendan Ben Feeney

9 Comments on ““Well, I Would!””

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