A Little Visitor

Indoor Woodlouse 007As 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

Indoor Woodlouse 002I 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.

Indoor Woodlouse 003

4 thoughts on “A Little Visitor

  1. pdcrumbaker

    I’ll always vote for leaving the door open for magic. It seems the height of arrogance to assume that the universe is made up of only that which we can explain with our small logic.

  2. Naomi Racz

    I lived in a house once where we were constantly finding woodlice. Not sure where they came from or how they got in, but I was always finding them in the sink or crawling up the walls – I have to admit, I’ve never really liked woodlice, but your blog posts have made me see them in a whole new light!

    1. Bug Woman

      Sometimes, woodlice are an indicator that you have a damp area in the wall or floor, but sometimes I think they’re just exploring. I suspect that they are more attuned to the need for humidity than anything else so, on a dry windy night, they might seek out somewhere like a kitchen or a bathroom to prevent themselves drying out. But it’s true, some places seem to become woodlouse magnets, drawing them in from all directions.


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