When a foe became an unlikely friend

A bluebottle is a more worthy foe than you might think.

This mighty-fine weather has led to an awful increase in the number of flies and midges.

A lady who recently gave my hair a fine-old cut in Macroom, told me that back home, in Mullaghanish, she is being eaten alive with midges. She can’t open her car door in the morning without an infantry of the buggers charging in, before she gets in herself.

And, in recent times, I have noticed bluebottles have also joined in the fray. So, I really pity the poor woman in Mullaghanish, now. And while here, in Kilmichael, the fly epidemic isn’t of Mullaghanish proportions, we are far from fly-free.

Indeed, the other morning, as I lay in bed thinking about the hardships of farming, who should come in the open window only a buzzing bluebottle.

Naturally, my first reaction was to curse him for entering the premises without permission. But then, after a while, as I lay there, his buzzing had a rather soothing effect on me. And, in the end, I found his presence strangely comforting.

So, I got up and headed for the kitchen for my breakfast, with the bluebottle following close behind. As I sat down, he also rested, perched on the table nibbling on a corner of toast I had placed out for him.

During breakfast, I picked up the newspaper to give it a good-old read and the bluebottle also had a peek. Even though newspapers are a deadly weapon used by humans on the fly nation, the bluebottle seemed to have little fear of it.

With breakfast done, before I had time to cover the jam, didn’t a bee enter the kitchen. Well, I’m telling you, my friend, the bluebottle tore into him. The kitchen wasn’t the place for a bee and, I declare to God, didn’t my little blue buddy eventually get the upper hand and send the bee flying out the door.

“Fair play to you, Sammy,” I roared after my bluebottle. Sammy was a name that seemed to suit him.

Next, I needed to go to my local butcher for a slab of meat, for the dinner, and Sammy decided to come along for the ride. So, off we drove.

At the butchers, I warned Sammy to stay well clear of the sizzler up high in the corner. “Don’t go near the blue light,” I cautioned him, “t’will burn you up.” And Sammy heeded my words.

Back home, a little later, I put the meat into the fridge and, sitting down to open the post, Sammy was buzzing nearby. As I sat there, I began to wonder why more people didn’t have bluebottles for pets. I mean, they would be far less expensive than other creatures.

And, as I watched Sammy happily walk across the table, I felt life couldn’t get much better. I was like the politician with the lady on his lap. But, then, didn’t I spot the newspaper rolled up in the left hand of my missus, and, before I could shout ‘Stop!’, didn’t she come down hard and fast with the morning edition, obliterating Sammy with a single blow.

With all my coming and going, I had neglected to tell my missus about the bond I had formed with the bluebottle, and she had presumed Sammy was just another bluebottle, and not the best friend a man could have. When I tearfully explained my story to her about the adventures I had had with Sammy, she was taken aback. “My dear husband,” says she, resting her hand gently on my shoulder, “would you ever get a life.”

Perhaps I should.


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