A gentle summer’s breeze. It’s just the right temperature to sit in the shade. A dog’s bark drifts from the distance. Children play in the paddling pool. Ice chinks gently in a glass. The grass feels cool underfoot. The word “idyllic” pops into your head unbidden.
It is summarily ruined. By a bastarding butterfly.
I hate butterflies. I loathe and detest them. I hate moths more, but at least they don’t bother you in your own garden at 2 p.m. on a Saturday.
I am unsure if I emit some sort of lepidopterous smell, but if there is a butterfly or moth in the vicinity, I can say with absolute certainty that it will attack me. I do not use those words lightly. The butterfly will go out of its way to flap its horrid wings in my face, or fly straight at my eyes. Perhaps I look like a particularly attractive butterfly myself. Nobody has ever mentioned it before, but I guess it’s a possibility.
Moths, on the other hand, prefer divebombing tactics. They enjoy fluttering around the light, causing an eerie flickering, like something out of a horror film, before suddenly ceasing all wing movement and dropping like Kamikaze pilots straight onto my head. This does not happen to anybody else in the room. They have it in for me.
Once a pigeon flew directly into my face. I have never met another person this has happened to. Ever. It hurt. It left a big, dirty pigeony footprint in the middle of my forehead which I didn’t even notice until that evening. Do you know how embarrassing it is to walk around for six hours with a pigeon imprint in the middle of your head? I do.
I fear I have gone off topic.
Oh yes. Butterflies. Dicks.
“Are you scared of butterflies, Mummy?” EldestGirl asks.
“No, of course not,” I lie, massively.
“What about moths?” she persists.
“I don’t love them, but I’m not scared.” I need to start counting how many lies I tell my children a day. I bet it’s at least 15.
(“Of course I’d like to watch Waffle the Wonder Dog with you. Again.”
“I would love to play that imaginary game with you that has no rules, and yet somehow I’m still doing it wrong.”
“That spaceship you made at school is fantastic. Oh. It’s a dog, is it? It’s brilliant.”
“Oh sweetie, I’m sorry. We have run out of chocolate.” etc. etc.)
I think the lie about lepidoptera is a reasonable one, as I don’t want to pass on my fear (it’s not so severe to be called a phobia). I’m fine with spiders, mice, rats and snakes. It’s just those little winged bastards. Monty Cat does not share my distaste. Quite literally. He likes to catch them and crunch them up in front of me. They are literally the only things he can catch. He once stood on a spider once by accident but I’m not sure that counts.
Perhaps he’s doing his bit to rid the world of butterflies. I am wholly supportive of this.