The icy, deep snow Winter, followed by the steady downpour for the whole of Spring and now temperatures in the high thirties under a brazen sun is hatching things not seen since dinosaurs walked. They must have been sitting in their crysallises for ever until they thought they were in with only one more chance when the heat came.
They are so variously horrible but all are large - as big as the palm of a man's hand or bigger, with hooks, or eyes on stalks, or digger truck attachments to the jaw big enough to shift rocks. They come armour-plated, some segmented, some writhing, others going like the clappers across polished floors (a particularly nasty effect) and some whose feet click as they crawl along very slowly. Worst of all, some of them have wings and fly towards the lights at night.
In the beginning I would get one of the men and a boot would come down so fast they didn't stand a chance but left a nasty mess and the sound lingered in the ears. So I got out the wasp nest spray but couldn't do it when what I was pretty sure must be a giant scorpion was followed by two little ones. It is worrying as well that they must be quite rare, these different creatures, even if I have no idea what they are. The answer for now is strategically placed, long-handled dustpans and brush and flinging them (the creatures, though the dustpans have been flung more than once) over the edge of the garden; but my courage is going to give out soon.
Why do they inspire such atavistic fear? This morning at first light I saw two hares playing in the meadow on the edge of the woods. I thought them utterly beautiful and stood still as still until they saw me and lolloped off towards the fountain and the glades above it. They are much bigger than even the largest, most fantastical creatures, yet looking at them I was enchanted.
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