A Christmas Eve Story

It was cold, but nothing like winter when I was boy, when the river froze over and wolves crossed the ice from the fens of New Jersey to ravage the stray cats. And it certainly wasn’t cold enough to kill off the mosquitoes.

This is the story of one of them. A poor waif of a mosquito, who came to the door begging for food. “Please, sir, may I have some blood?” After all, she had to feed her children, and needed a mammal, warm and red-blooded. She chose me! (Isn’t this heartwarming, boys and girls? Also blood-sucking, and definitely blood-unclotting.) The other day, twice on the left hand, once on the right, and once for good measure on the forehead: she dipped her siphon into me while I slept innocent as a babe in the manger. Mosquito bites on the joints of the fingers burn like the fires of hell. For perhaps ten minutes.

These bites woke me at four in the morning, and after some hunting I saw her, perched on the wall. Trying to act all innocent-like. Ha-ha! Hell-kite, to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.

An ill-aimed whack of the flip-flop failed to put an end to this story.

This morning, that long-legged Diptera-fatale, or else one of her coven, struck again, this time in the palm of my hand. (Immediately I thought of the Baby Cheeses we’ll be eating tomorrow.) I’d like to end this tale of holiday cheer with a picture of a dead mosquito, which would certainly cheer me up, but she yet lives.

A faithful reader noted, “Dude, only you could find a mosquito in the middle of December.” But it’s them who finds me, sir, for my blood’s as sweet as Christmas pudding. Ho-ho-ho, and pass the roast Scrooge McDuck.

And to all a good, mosquito-free, night.

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