Apparently, knowing your enemy does not necessarily guarantee victory.
My mission was to go to the post office and get some mail out. In order to do so, I had to cross enemy lines (the great outdoors).
I was not unprepared. I dutifully donned my long sleeved hoodie, even though the air was warm. Underneath, I had applied a layer of repellent (skin-so-soft) to avert the nasty little beasts.
I knew they could see me and that they were waiting, yet I bravely stepped outside and into harms way.
I walked quickly, yet tried not to look intimidated. I knew if they saw the fear in my eyes all would be lost. Any sign of weakness would be to their advantage.
I made it to the car unscathed and I felt that the first leg of my mission had gone well. As I sat in relief in the driver’s seat a feeling of victory began to encompass me.
On a different day, at a different time of year I would now be putting the top down on the car to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. After all, it had been a long winter and I longed for the warm feel of the sun on my back and the breeze through my hair.
But it was not to be.
Outside I could see the enemy swarming, unable to penetrate my fortress. I smiled to myself as I put the car into gear and drove away, leaving my pursuers in the dust. Take that!
I arrived at my destination (the post office) without incident. I did my business there and got back into the car, unaware of the peril that awaited me.
Perhaps that was their plan all along. How smug they must have thought me to be! How arrogant! Little did I realize that in their tiny, evil minds the battle was far from over. They played me like a fine tuned instrument.
The attack was a complete and utter surprise to me. I didn’t even know that I was still in battle. They had successfully lulled me into a sense of security so they could take me completely off guard. As I was driving home, the stowaway first showed itself. I heard the wicked hum in my ear and instantly I was brought back to a state of awareness and fear.
One had gotton in!
He knew he had me at my most vulnerable moment. The horrid beast! I swatted toward him and he adeptly dodged each swing, only to retreat into an area of the car that I was unable to reach. It was acutely aware of my limitations and used them to its utmost advantage.
I had no choice but to keep forging ahead. I was heading for home and the comfort of its safety.
I arrived there shortly and ran to my front door. I was unconcerned with appearances – let them see my fear! As I stepped from my car and hurried into the house, I could imagine the amusement they must be feeling. After all, I was much larger and smarter then they were, yet it was I who was cowering and running for cover!
I made it inside and at that very moment, I felt a stinging on my head. I put my hand up and successfully smashed the brute and watched him fall to the ground. I felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction in doing so. I had shown it who was stronger! I had won!
Or did I?
Within an hour or so, there were not one, but two welts that began to swell on my scalp. Each was progressively itchy and growing in size. I had been hit.
Apparently the buggar was on a suicide mission. I am certain its peers silently cheered from the sideline and honored it for its success. It died a martyr – an honorable death for a creature of its stature in life. Its mission was accomplished.
I sit here and tend my battle wounds with hydrocortisone cream and Benedryl. The back of my neck is somewhat swelled and my head is itchy and uncomfortable. I hope to get some work done today, but it is difficult to concentrate due to the discomfort.
Although I know I lost this round, I realize that there are more battles on the horizon. I will learn from my defeat and prepare a new and more effective battle plan for the next time. I grossly underestimated my enemy. It is a mistake I am not proud of, but I will learn greatly from it.
So laugh beasts, laugh! Your mocking will one day come back to haunt you.
As I have not yet begun to fight.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"