Hi everyone, no don’t scream or make a face with the expression of disgust. You humans don’t look so good either from down here, especially the sole of your feet when they might squash one of my relatives or colleagues. Of course, we know how inconsiderate the species homo sapiens can be, especially if you are an insect. Ants have no chance, but they are a bit stupid plodding all over the place and swarming onto human food.
Now we armadillidum vulgare are a different kettle of fish. What?? Well some know us as wood lice, pill bug, sow bug and at the bottom of the scale rolly pollie although that is just a plain insult. If you saw a monster coming and nowhere to escape, you would roll up as well. We are not fat, just have a suit of armour for protection, but even that gets a bit tight a couple of times in life, so we just get rid of it for a larger size. We do not mean any harm and are satisfied with a nice damp place, a few plant roots and some dead material. It does not matter what, as long as it is dead, disintegrating and we like it to be a bit damp. We love everything that is damp.
Me and the wife live under a nice heavy stone on the path through a garden. Really could not be better. Our own food supplies nearby and no preying insects to make a meal of us. My wife, Mabel, just loves it here, but that was until Boris moved in. By the way I am known as Bonzo by most of my friends. As I was saying the wife and I were living nice and peaceful under our stone; I don’t even think others realised it, except of course for a few other members of our tribe, but they had their own stones and left us in peace. Mabel had just laid a batch of eggs and was carrying them on her tummy, waiting for them to hatch. No great problem, it makes things easier when the kids hatch as you know where they are.
Back to Boris: I was having a quiet afternoon’s sleep with the missus – no hanky panky, after all she had just laid some eggs and then the stone got lifted. I thought it was the ignorant humans, but they usually leave us in peace. I know Mrs. Human does not like lifting those stones as she never knows what is underneath. Can’t understand it really, after all Mabel is one of the prettiest of our type around, I really had to fight for her attention. Anyhow a black colleague crawled into our little nest and told me to move over: me, the chief of the family.
“Who do you think you are?” was my question.
“Bonzo it's drafty here and there is too much light, what is going on?” That was the wife.
“Good morning all, I have decided this place would be suitable for me and the family, so either move over or move out” and that was the first time I saw Boris.
“Just who do you think you are? We have been here since we paired up and are going nowhere. Go back to where you came from.”
“Sorry, but that’s not possible. I was living in a nice cold damp cellar with the family. Ideal really, had everything that a armadillidium vulgare could wish for. It was damp, temperature was just right and plenty of deal food laying around. There were even some mushrooms growing out of the wall, but then it happened. The humans got working on it and in two days there was nothing left, just a hole in the ground, so we had to move. One of my kids from last year said there was a path in a garden near bye. Of course it was a long march for us along the ditch but here we are. The only problem is that everything seems to be occupied around here, so we decided to move in with someone else, unless you are thinking of leaving.”
“No Boris, we are not thinking of leaving, and we do not intend to share our place with you and your family. You smell rather strongly and we have enough work keeping our own place neat and tidy. I do not intend to start cleaning up behind two strangers. Go and find another cellar. You cellar creatures are all the same, no respect for the garden tribes. You just spread out and take everything over.”
“Hi dad, having problems” it was one of our children from the last brood, who lived under the next garden tile.
“Hello son, we have an intruder. One of those cellar tribes has decided to move in.”
“Does not come into the question dad; come on brothers, we are being invaded” and then the communal feelings developed and 20 of our kids from the last breed arrived to support us and the family.
“Clear out, you are not welcome” said my oldest and was already sharpening his feelers for an attack. It was then that the invader’s wife started to shed some tears.
“What shall we do Boris, first of all our house was destroyed, I am expecting babies and now we have nowhere to live. These garden tribes are so thoughtless and selfish. How would you feel in my position” I could see Mabel already feeling sorry for the intruders. Women are the same everywhere I suppose.
“Bonzo I can understand her problem. Admittedly she smells different to us, but she is one of us and cannot help her background. We should really help.”
What did I say, women. I just had to tell her that not in our place. We have enough problems removing our body waste all day long and now there will be twice as much. Apart from that what are we going to do when their brood arrives and ours. There will just be no room. Not to mention the discarded armour laying around when we all get to big for our bodies.
“I have an idea dad.” Typical kids, they always support their mothers, but I listened to what he said.
“Just down the path there is an old discarded brick. It is quite heavy, but if we all get together, I am sure we can move it to suitable place, perhaps next to the house wall. Then they will be far enough away from us, but they won’t feel as homesick because it will be near the cellar of the house. Perhaps they might even be able to dig a corridor into the cellar and then they will be happy.”
One thing I must say, I do have clever, intelligent offspring, suppose they take after their father. As we creatures usually like to sleep during the day, we postponed the action until the evening and had to put up with a stinky cellar guy and his missus until then, sleeping at our place. As soon as evening came we had a meeting. I must say, you can always rely on us for group work. I think the complete population of the garden path arrived. Good job the humans were sleeping, otherwise there would have been screams and feet stamping around. I never really did understand why they don’t like us. Eventually we all got working. We managed to shift the brick to the window and Boris and his wife crawled underneath. They were more than happy. I must say they turned out to be very nice neighbours. Just shows you how you can be wrong about your species. Now and again Boris’s wife would bring us a couple of mushrooms over from her lodgings. Her kids arrived about the same time as ours so they sort of grew up together. Very nice bunch they were as well. They even married into our family and I suppose we are now sort of related to Boris and his wife. Sometimes we even go hunting together with the grandchildren.
The life of a armadillidium vulgare can be really satisfying some times. We just have to keep out of the way of the human feet. There is a certain spider that also likes to make a meal of us, but that is another story, and thank goodness they don’t live around here.
Writing Prompt#15: Point of View