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To kill a mocking fly

June 29, 2008
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I’d tried a magazine; his weapon of choice was a rubber band. The fly was canny and agile.

“You missed him.”

“I didn’t want to hurt the light fixture.”

“He’s behind you.”

The fly did a few more high-speed dips and cavorted around the kitchen before landing in an open cupboard. He sat on the edge of a plate I had been just about to retrieve. How was it that he anticipated my every move?

“Get out of there or I’ll poke your eight little eyes out.” I waved him out and he dove for me. “Ugh. He’s on my shoulder. Get him off! Don’t hit me, just get him off!”

The fly had dominated our interior airspace, a capital offense, all afternoon.

“I’ll spray him with Malathion,” said my husband.

“You’ll have to coax him outdoors first. Then he can claim asylum.”


“Why didn’t we ever teach Coolidge to hunt flies? But of course, he was never interested in them. He likes moths. He likes to smear windows with them and leave them there. It’s his art.”

My husband clapped his hands abruptly over the sink. A clap of the hands, and we were no longer hostages. The siege was over. Death has its uses.

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