There was one thing Ferdinand disliked immensely and that was to have to powder his wig every morning and put it on. (He lived in the seventeenth century). The whole wig thing took a substantial chunk out of his daily morning programme. It was far easier simply to sleep with his wig still on and then pat it flat upon rising.
But then Ferdinand’s pate began to get itchy. His wife looked and there was a nest of nits in his hair having a wonderful time. And of course there were the inevitable family of earwigs setting up home in the wig itself.
Ferdinand was rather partial to that wig. It was like shoes; a wig had to be “broken in”. This wig fitted perfectly. Ferdinand gave the wig a good shake hoping to expel the bugs. It did not work.
Ferdinand’s wife, Maria Constanze Cäcilia Josepha Johanna Aloysia Fischer, bought him a brand new wig and gave it to Ferdinand for Christmas. He was most grateful, although for a start on alternate days he wore his old wig for the sake of comfort.
Avis was paranoid, not about spiders, oh no! Not about centipedes, oh no! Not about bugs, or birds, or even terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs, oh no!
Avis was paranoid about tadpoles. If those little slimy eyeballs with a tail could grow legs, what else could they do? Grow claws? Tentacles? Great gnashing teeth?
And the fact that they grew into land-hopping creatures, would they jump out of their pond and leap into her bedroom at night? Avis shut her bedroom window and drew the curtains.
And then the inevitable happened, for this is a story is it not? Avis overcame her paranoia when she kissed a frog and turned into a reptile herself. They married and lived happily ever after.
She and her husband produced a bunch of sprogs, and the sprogs lived happily ever after too. One of them was able to transmogrify into a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc when it was called for, although eventually it was devoured by a hungry sibling.
Being the solo mother of three boys kept Robin busy. Two of the boys were at school, but young Calvin was only four. Thank goodness! the house might be old, but it was paid for. The house had a number of antiquated features, such as a meat safe which these days with refrigerators was not needed. And it had an old deep bath tub that never got used because there was a shower.
Young Calvin was an enthusiast. He loved everything, especially spiders and bugs. Only this morning he was running around in the kitchen with a jar and lid trying to catch fruit flies that seemed to swarm where there was food. He caught a few fruit flies in an hour.
“Pets!” said Calvin. “I’m getting them for pets.”
Robin wasn’t an overly fussy mother but she liked to correct English when it mattered.
“You’re not collecting them FOR pets, dear,” said Robin. “You’re collecting them AS pets.”
Little did Robin realize; the fruit flies were FOR pets. Calvin was keeping and feeding his collection of daddy-long-legs in the bath.