We don’t have gadflies on Kauai. Not the flying insect kind. It gets so complicated. I have a horse,  Ari. He is famous. He campaigned for a beautiful lady friend in the last election.He is never  bothered by flies. I won’t put up with them, neither will he, but we can’t take all the credit.  I think the chickens play a role in this. They eat them. Just like they eat centipedes and coquis and long  squiggly brown earth worms. That’s why their eggs are so delicious and nutritious.

But back to the  non-existent gadfly. Since it’s non-existent it doesn’t bite anyone.  It doesn’t bite  me. It doesn’t bite Boots. It doesn’t  bite the cats or  the kids, who, actually, are no longer kids.  The kids  grew up to be goats. They climb moist fragrant mossy green tree trunks and disappear into the jungle. And, though they’re black and white and have four legs, vanish into the shadows right before your eyes. They love  animal crackers.  In fact all my animals-me, too-love animal crackers.

I  coax the goats out of the a trees by singing, softly,  “Animal crackers in your soup, “and they fly joyfully out of the trees to land with a  thump at my feet.  if I call too loudly I’ll have Boots and Ari in my face looking for a handout. And Duke-the macaw, who ran away if you recall-screaming to remind me he wants some, too.

I also read-in my search for the critter- that  crickets are disappearing from Kauai. Some kind of nasty flier is responding to their mating call and doing them in, but not around here. My crickets sing their little hearts out all night long. I love the sound. It’s reassuring. When they stop cricketing the silence awakens me and I suspect something wicked this way comes. Sweet smelling feral piglets?

The song of the cricket is reassuring.  The silence of the cricket bodes danger. The silence of the crickets like the silence of the lamb? Precisely.

This whole thing got out of hand. It started out as a search in a different direction. It was supposed to be a piece about another kind of gadfly. A disruptive child. An annoying person. A pest. A philosopher. There.  I finally made it.  Socrates. That story’s got it all. Virtue. Truth. Wisdom. Happiness. Roosters. Hemlock and me.

Me! My favorite subject. Damn the crickets, centipedes, roosters, animals and crackers. Damn the torpedos. Full speed ahead.

I was recently called a mosquito. Mosquito!  You jest. If I’m gonna be an insect I’m gonna be the biggest, baddest, buggiest bug around.  A two-legged gadfly on Kauai.

And who should this two-legged gadfly bite in the butt?

Six-legged gadflies bite horses and cows and Plato said, “A gadfly stings the horse to action.”

A rwo-legged gadfly on Kauai  joyfully bites steer and horses’ asses. That’s its job.

Back to work.


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