Look at this.
Can you see it?
Really, study the photograph.
Have you found it yet?
What about now?
Nope? Still can’t see it?
Don’t worry, neither can I.
What you’re trying to look at, is in fact the scariest, most dangerous, obviously deadliest tiny bug ever.
Obviously it’s size is just to confuse you about its sheer ferocity, because, I can assure you, that tiny dot that may or may not be there (on account of having disappeared by the time I got the camera) is actually a terrifying monster, that wants to eat you for morning tea.
But let me start at the beginning.
The first thing we do every Saturday morning is clean bedrooms. After a week, believe me, they need it.
The kids had done theirs, and I was in the process of tidying ours while they played outside, when I heard screams.
Now because I am a completely doting mother, I just ignored them.
I have four kids. Someone is always screaming at someone else, and if I interfered every time, I would literally get nothing done. So instead, most of the time I let them sort it out themselves.
By the sounds of the cries it was Bridie and Ava, so I assumed that Bridie had a toy Ava wanted, and she had stolen it off her. Bridie would take it back, and then Ava would thump her and take it back. Those two are both ridiculously similar and stubborn.
After about 45 seconds, and Taylah telling me Ava was crying before she headed out the door to her fathers, I decided I better see what was happening, so dragged my weary self out to the back garden to investigate the drama.
This is what I saw.
Ava was standing in the back garden, absolutely distraught. She had tears pouring down her face, and was obviously terrified.
Bridie was standing on the lawn to her right, screaming at the top of her lungs. I’m pretty sure the entire neighborhood new something was going on.
Bailey was across from Bridie looking completely confused and wondering what all the fuss was about.
Because of the level of Bridie’s hysteria, I assumed, of course, that something was terribly wrong.
And because Ava appeared to be trapped in ‘the forest’ and Bridie was screaming in her general direction, my initial thought was either ‘snake’ or ‘giant hairy spider.’
For the record, I do not like snakes or spiders.
Hairy or otherwise.
I asked Bridie what was the problem.
To which she just screamed.
So I asked again, more urgently this time, aware that my baby was two metres away from me, completely terrified, but I needed to know what it was before I went charging through the aloevera to rescue her.
After asking three times, Bridie pointed at the tree.
Seeing nothing, I went and picked Ava up, snakes and giant hairy spiders be damned, whilst Bridie squealed hysterically the entire time.
Standing on the lawn again, trying to comfort a completely distraught toddler, I asked Bridie again, what the problem was.
It was then that she pointed to the killer bug.
Or as she put it ‘see that black thing?’
Now I’m not entirely sure what the black thing was, but it looked like a tiny black lady bug on a cob web.
It definitely wasn’t hysteria worthy.
On fact, it was even less daunting than this little fella, who the night before, had caused cries of ‘daddy help me!’ to emanate from the bathroom.
(Possibly this wasn’t the cockroach in question. We have a couple of them in the Territory.)
As we led the garden and the scene of my children’s near death experience, Bridie ran to her room, where I had told her to go till I came and talked to her about her complete overreaction, and Ava gazed fearfully back at the trees.
‘It’s ok,’ I reassured her. ‘It was just a tiny bug.’
‘Tiny bug?’ she asked.
‘Yes, a tiny bug.’
‘Yep. Just like a cockroach,’ which was apparently all the reassurance she needed. That kid charges around the house with a fly swat and enough determination to strike fear into even the biggest killer bug.
And occasionally an unsuspecting human.
The moral of the story is if you hear screams from the backyard, it’s probably nothing, but it could be a giant killer tiny bug.
Take the ‘smacker’ just in case.*
*for the bug, not the kids.