A Crane Fly in the Flat

There’s a crane fly in the flat, a daddy longlegs. Keats might not have mentioned them in his Ode to Autumn, but they are a creature of the season. I don’t mind them, though they bring back memories of outside toilets at my primary school. The daddy longlegs used to lurk around the pipe from the high cistern. There was a damp autumnal smell most of the year, better than boys’ toilets next door which frankly stank. The boys used to try to drag us in there in kiss chase. It was a major incentive to run fast.
There was one occasion when a boy was allowed in the girls’ toilets. Actually, not allowed, ordered. Someone had called him names when he had been in the field over the wall retrieving a ball. He had reached for the ample horse dung and flung it at the toilets.

He spent the day cleaning it off. I don’t remember his name, but I can still see him, a big boy in my eyes, knee length grey shorts and the ubiquitous short back and sides. He had dark curly hair, and he reminded me of a sheep.
In time, new toilets were built for us delicate girls inside. The boys got our old toilets, and the smelly structure in the corner of the playground was pulled down.
Tonight’s daddy longlegs started in the bathroom where the window is open. It’s in the sitting room now, hovering up by the ceiling and bringing out MasterB’s hunting instincts. He doesn’t think it’s playing fair and is miaowing piteously, then climbing to places where he should not go. My flowers are at risk, my cards are on the floor and my wine has remained in the bottle.


15 thoughts on “A Crane Fly in the Flat

  1. Yes – keep that wine safe! Cats could care less what goes flying once they’ve zeroed in on their prey.
    Here, crane flies are known as mosquito hawks. So far, it’s been a dragonfly kind of summer/autumn.

  2. When I was small we had a labrador who loved to chase ‘it’s one of those things’ as I called them! He tried to go to all the places that Master B visited. Chaos reigned as you can imagine!

  3. I haven’t seen any here yet. Att would love to hunt one though. He became an adept fly killer this past summer. I did my best to rescue as many of them as I could. I hate to see anything suffer.

  4. Isobel we have had herds of daddy longlegs that are all over the outside of our house. Not so many this year. I have a friend I met blogging about three years ago and she told me they call daddy longlegs harvestmen. I love the different names and crane fly certainly seems appropriate! Our house will soon be covered in ladybugs, well, annoying Asian Beetles that I call ladybug imposters. They are nasty smelling and bite/pinch. I will be sweeping up thousands of them and we will be hoping not too many get in the house because they leave an orange squiggly stain where they land. MasterB would not want to get close to one of them. Our Z Cat hated them. I am hoping they won’t show up because of the drought. She did like daddy longlegs and stick bugs. And I mean she really liked them. I was always supervising her trying to keep her from devouring them. I let her play with the lizards because she didn’t hurt them. Sorry about rambling on here I think MasterB hunting the crane fly brought back some Z memories. We looked at a kitty yesterday afternoon at the shelter, she has had a rough time but she was a sweetie. She is on my mind.

    • MasterB got a wasp last year and was stung, but it doesn’t seem to have put him off chasing them. That said, I have seen far fewer wasps this autumn than usual.
      The vet was saying that a cat’s natural diet would have a lot of insects in it, so I suppose it is only natural and somehow I can’t get as upset as I would if they were birds.
      So you went to the shelter? With intent or just to torture yourselves?
      Fell free to ramble away. I enjoy it.

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