underdog

i have this habit of taking bugs that i find inside, back outside. i’ve done it for as long as i can remember. even spiders, despite my arachnophobia.

i’ll try to take cockroaches and crickets outside too, despite the microsetae on their legs kicking my panic reflex into high gear. i always try to pick them up with something like a piece of paper, but it’s not always possible, so sometimes i have to handle them.

i’ve thought for a long while about why i do this. at first i figured it was just a matter of cleanliness. but i realised most other people just spray or squish, clean up and move on. so i guess i’m the odd one out.

so. why? why bother?

two reasons. one, there’s enough suffering in the world without me adding to it. yes, a bug dying still counts as suffering.
two, it’s surely hard enough to be an insect without having to compete with the ‘top of the food chain’. they want the same basic things i want, that being food, shelter and safety. i imagine it’s hard work to get those things as a bug.

everyone loves a good underdog story. seems like i’m no exception.

She asks me to kill the spider.
Instead, I get the most
peaceful weapons I can find.

I take a cup and a napkin.
I catch the spider, put it outside
and allow it to walk away.

If I am ever caught in the wrong place
at the wrong time, just being alive
and not bothering anyone,

I hope I am greeted
with the same kind
of mercy.

Rudy Francisco

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