By: Freddy Flea
It all began after my parent flea had a blood meal on the Smith’s yellow lab, Fido. That meal enabled my predecessor to produce my egg along with my 40 other flea siblings on that same day. While it was fun to spend my first days in the egg riding on Fido, I eventually fell off into a fibrous area that humans call carpet. Shortly after adjusting to my new carpet home in my egg, I started to wonder what life might be like outside my confinement. My siblings must have been wondering the same, as some of them had already broken out of their eggs merely 2 days after being born! Some of my other siblings, however, were more hesitant, possibly frightened of the large new world that waited. Those scaredy fleas took 2 weeks to break out of their eggs.
After leaving my egg, I felt different, I was a larvae now after all and it was time to go out on my own and find some food! Fortunately for me, older fleas had generously left behind pre-digested blood that humans call flea dirt. What a treat! For some reason I didn’t really like light, so I tended to stay concealed. I was growing fast just like my siblings, and I had met even more flea larvae that must have been born the day after me. It was around 5-20 days after hatching that I decided it was time to make the transformation into adulthood. I would need to spin a cocoon and become a pupae.
Being in my cocoon gave me some time to ponder life. I counted myself fortunate to be a guest in the Smith’s home. I had heard of other homes that used flea prevention on their animals year round, where no fleas could be found. I made a promise to myself that if I ever received the chance to climb on Mr. or Mrs. Smith, I would take the opportunity to thank them for allowing my siblings and I the chance to thrive. Just when I was going over all the nice things I would say, a loud noise interrupted my thoughts one Tuesday evening, and it gave me quite a scare. It was what the Smiths called a vacuum. Fortunately, I was still in my cocoon which had a sticky coating on the outside which held me to the carpet as the vacuum passed right over me. Two days after that scare came another. Some sort of chemical was being sprayed throughout the Smith’s home. This was perhaps the saddest day of my life as I could hear some of my flea elders passing away. Again my cocoon did its job and protected me from whatever this nasty chemical was. I felt that my cocoon could protect me for years if necessary. I was beginning to think that maybe I didn’t like the Smiths or Fido! Why would they do this to my flea family! It was then that I vowed that once I became an adult I would leave as much flea dirt as I could for future flea generations to feed on. First I would need to find Fido to have myself a nice blood meal.
It was then that I felt movement, and sensed body heat. Could it be? Was it my time to hatch and carry out my plot to provide pre-digested blood for future generations? IT WAS! I could sense that Fido was nearby and I made my escape from the cocoon. I was an adult now and it was time to feed! I had lost count of time but sometime within 3 days to 3 weeks I had been in my cocoon and now I was FREE. I climbed on Fido and began my life’s work. My siblings that were nearby were climbing onto Fido as well. It seemed as though they too were going to help me raise a flea army by providing food for flea larvae. The war had begun!
Written by: Ryan Snodgrass