As I threw back the duvet this morning my eye was caught by a tiny movement. A woodlouse was making his way over the hills and valleys of the material, a lost wanderer trying to find a nice stone to hide under. He rested for few minutes, allowing me to take this picture, but then, sensing that he was observed, he galloped away like an Oryx over the sand dunes of the Sahara
I have never found a woodlouse in the house before. Had he wandered onto my shoe when I was looking for woodlice in preparation for yesterday’s piece? Or was he a critic, anxious to point out that there were whole areas of his life that I hadn’t mentioned?
Eventually he paused, and I caught him, took him downstairs and released him into a pile of dead leaves. He pattered away, seemingly unperturbed.
For many cultures, the unexpected appearance of an animal was a sign, an omen, a chastisement or a blessing. I admit to a heart’s leap of joy at seeing this creature so immediately after I’d been writing about him. It’s easy to say that it was a coincidence, and of course it was. But the world is a little larger, a little more generous, if we hold the door open for it being a coincidence and also something more mysterious.