mercredi 2 janvier 2019

Lizards, squirrels and Americans

We live for some months in an apartment in Madeira. We have a friend here who sometimes visits us. It's a small lizard. Its name is Bennu. It likes to walk on our balcony. Once it even run on my hand when I was sitting at my writing desk. We love him. When I looked what Google gives when I look for "lizard", I discovered to my astonishment a lot of articles about how to get rid of lizards. I suspect this is something typical for typical Americans: to get rid of everything belonging to Nature. It reminded me of a similar experience: many years ago I saw an American movie about a family preparing for Christmas. They took from outside their Christmas tree, and to their horror, there was a small squirrel on this tree. There was a lot of panic, they tried to catch and kill the animal, and finally their dog succeeded in doing it. The peace and Christmas mood were restored. I felt I was angry. I didn't understand why people have so much fear and even hatred against such a small innocuous animal. I something similar would have happened in our family home, we would have been happy, excited, would have and helped it to find its way out from the house, maybe our children would have tried to feed it. I think I understood something about the typical Americans then, and my later observations seem to have confirmed my certain aversion toward their way of life and thinking. I cannot say I love America, although I cannot say I hate it. But I feel I have to keep distance from America.

This reminds me of my astonishment and negative feelings when I saw for the first time a can of American insecticide with a writing on it: Kills in house and garden. Or something similar. And it promised to kill ants, flies and... bees. I didn't understand why one should kill bees. If a bee happens to fly in your house, you must let it out. By the way, it's very easy to take a paper handkerchief wrap the fly caught on a windowpane into it and let it out. It cannot use its sting. And with the big she-bumblebees that can penetrate into your house in Spring it's even easier. They do not sting. You just take the big insect carefully into your hand and take it outdoors. It doesn't sting you, it has to economize its resources for nest-building and laying its eggs. I love bumblebees. Even their sting is somewhat milder than the sting of a honeybee or a wasp. I think what we need is not insect killers but repellents. E.g. to keep mosquitoes, gadflies, ants or wasps away. Not to kill them, either. They are food for other insects and birds. And for spiders. Some people are eager to kill spiders too. Stupid people! I really detest them.

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