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"Ow, dad...careful, there's a thing on my neck that hurts!"

I was washing her hair, so I pulled the hair apart to examine the thing that hurt. First, I noticed a little bump -- a pimple? Ingrown hair? I cleared more of her damp hair aside, and discovered eight wiggly legs.

Destiny had a woodtick.

ICK ICK ICK ICK ICK ICK. I had them in my youth, but I lived on a farm. This one had been feeding, and had gotten a bit big. It was not happy about being bothered.

"Don't move...I'll take care of it," I said without explanation.

I got a lighter and a small metal chunk, in hopes of heating it off (that's how I remember them being removed). It held fast, despite being touched by a very hot poker.

Next, I heated up a tweezers, and grabbed it close to the head. With a little tugging, it came loose.

"Do you want to see it, or do you think you'll be scared? You had a woodtick."

"Um....I want to see it."

I had put it in a little cup, and held it low enough for her to peek in. As I explained how woodticks get around, I flushed it down the toilet. D'OH! I thought -- I should have saved it, for disease testing in case Des comes down with something. Lyme disease is rare around here, and usually transmitted by a different kind of tick. These ones can still pass disease, but it's not nearly as serious. Destiny hinted that she didn't want to hang around trees or grass anymore, but I explained that ticks not overly common, and that she shouldn't be worried about ticks everywhere. She probably picked it up at Grandma & Grandpa's today, playing in the back yard with my cousin's dogs.

Still, now my entire body feels like there's bugs crawling on it. I hate ticks. They're just....nasty.

You know, the day before yesterday I got mites all over me (from a plant). And yesterday I found two different, large-ish spiders crawling up my arm. I hear your ICK.

--gigi, 6/30/2002 21:25:54

Several years back I was hiking on the Appalachian Trail with some friends Edd & Terry aka The Whale People (cos they ate spirulina(plankton)). We came upon a memorable stretch of trail in VA where you walk alongside a park maintained by the National Zoo in DC for breeding purposes. We saw only a few giraffe far off in the distance (and acting with the utmost decorum) but what we did reap a whirlwind of was TICKS. Each of us had about 20 ticks land on us during the 3 miles we hiked alongside that big ole tall fence. Edd got fed up and took out his sewing scissors and pretended to be a tick barber. "Little off behind the ears Mr. Tick," he'd say, then cut the little buggers head clear off its body,"Oh, I'm sorry sir, slipped a little there." He did that routine about 15 times and had us laughing all the while.///Oh yeah, there was a great sign at the first point the Trail meets the preserve: No Trespassing Violators Will Be Eaten.

--busmun, 7/1/2002 10:55:15

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