The Lonely Fly

Then the silence would be broken …

And the gymnastics and shouting begin

We had a morning routine

Three of us sat down to breakfast during my latest visit to South Africa

It always started sedately enough

I’m not much of a talker before my first cup of tea

Then the silence would be broken …

And the gymnastics and shouting begin

One of my companions is almost blind but can hear the buzzer

and the other is hard of hearing but sees the pest

Together they make a great team

My elderly mother leaps into action with flailing arms and a can of insect spray,

while my father starts yelling instructions “shut the doors, close the windows, we don’t want more flies in the house”

But here’s the thing: I only ever witnessed just ONE fly.

With thousands of tiny lenses, and the ability to see 360 degrees at once, it’s no wonder my parents daily exercise routine was defeated.

This lonely fly would go into hiding …

only to appear in the very same place the following morning

Different flies are attracted to different food sources …

and this one couldn’t get enough of my dad’s marmalade toast

In her excitement she flaps her wings up to 1000 beats per minute which creates the buzz

House flies, Musca domestica, have a short life cycle of about 6 days

And, because I stayed with my parents for 2 months during this malarky, I know this fly was a solo mum, who became a solo mum, who became a solo mum … and so on

Because there was only ever ONE fly

This must be extremely rare – flies can have about 500 offspring at once. 

(My theory is that dad just wasn’t sharing enough of his breakfast so she was malnourished)  

They’re actually social creatures

Where there are humans, there are flies.

And in uninhabited places, there are no flies.

Did you know that?

Now I concede that flies are disgusting creatures that spread many diseases

They are also found around the world 

which is why, on my return to NZ, I found myself in the poo …

having to deal with a single fly of my own

It lives on the dashboard of my car

Mine has less refined taste than dad’s one

You see I’ve been picking up bags of horse manure to add to my compost

So my vehicle has, of late, become something of a ‘poo mobile’

And the silly fly eludes me on every journey

Oh where are my parents when I need them?

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