I was lying in bed, late at night, when I felt something moving by my left ear. I brushed it with my paw. A tick fell off me on to the sheet. Surprised, I stood. “What were you doing on me?” I asked.
“Bah, I was hungry,” the tick said. “I’ve been outside in your yard for days with nothing in my belly when you came by on your leash. I hopped on you and waited, all night, for you to fall asleep so I could bite you and drink your blood. But every time I tried to bite you I was repelled by your skin. You must be wearing the poison.”
“My mom puts some sticky stuff on my back to keep you ticks off of me.” When I said “ticks” my voice could not hide my disgust.
“Don’t get uppity with me!” the offended tick said. “It isn’t my fault I was born a blood-sucking nuisance. It’s who I am. Who are you to judge? You get kibble given to you on a clean plate every day. No one feeds me blood; I have to lay in the grass and wait.”
“You gave me Lyme disease!” I barked. “I had to go on medication for weeks, and three years later I am still carrying the illness.”
“I didn’t give you nothing,” the tick said. “I am barely a year old. And I got the disease from a mouse.” I grunted in disgust. “Don’t judge me; I have to suck every vermin out there just to make it until tomorrow. But I got off that disgusting little thing as soon as I could.”
“I don’t feel sorry for you,” I said to the little creature, “you just want to attach yourself to a hard working dog and live off me for nothing!
“Not true!” the angry tick countered. “I go from animal to animal trying to get enough blood to stay alive. Oh, it's a wicked existence. I would not wish it on anyone. I couldn’t even find a yard with big dogs, I only had you two little ones to pick from, and when I finally worked up the nerve to jump on you, I find you are wearing the poison, which is very unhealthy by the way. You should get the collar. We know not to jump on dogs with the collars. But no, you need to be tricky with your poison drops. Bah! I curse you.”
I did not like this tick’s attitude. He had hidden on me to get inside and now was in my bed, being argumentative. “I don’t wear the collar because I have a collapsing trachea,” I explained.
“Oh, how terrible for you!” the sarcastic tick answered.
“And we don’t take the pills because of Pocket’s tummy,”
“Oh the pills,” the tick shook his head. “I know all about the pills. I have heard of ticks which had died on the pill. They bite a dog, get infected and expire. What a way to go! Right in mid-suck. That’s how I’d like to go, in the middle of sucking. But no, I had to get the only two dogs in America still using the drops. I’m telling you, I don’t get no respect.”
“Well, you can’t stay here. Pocket has the drops too,” I told him.
“Oh, I don’t want to bite her. Too scrawny. I could suck that thing for days and never get off. But these humans are tempting.”
I could not let him bite my parents. If they get Lyme disease, it is much more serious than when I did. They should be wearing drops and collars.
I knew I had to get this thing out of my bed. Mommy would freak out if she found it there in the morning. I assured him if she did he would end up in the toilet. And I forbid him to latch on to Mommy. We agreed he could hide in Daddy’s hair until morning and hop out when he took us outside.
But, as history has taught us, all tick are liars, which was unfortunate for him, because midway through the day Daddy felt something in his hair, pinched it, said “oh crap, it’s a tick!” ran into the bathroom and flushed it down the toilet.
Good luck in the sewers my little friend. Maybe you will get to go to the Bridge where you can live happily, or come back as something better.
I can’t think how it would be possible to come back as something worse.