The Surprise

It might have started with a bite.

An imperceptible bite from a mouth no larger than a pin prick. From a tick no bigger than a sesame seed.

Just like all tiny deer ticks, this sightless creature hopped aboard and traveled north. Instinctively, ticks move opposite the pull of gravity, climbing upward until they can rise no higher. That’s how this tick likely took residence in a concealed patch of skin, camouflaged beneath long stalks of dark hair. It latched on with its barbed mouth, ate its fill and left undetected. No harm done, so it seemed.

Had the blood supply’s owner known of the arachnid, she would have balked at the blood-sucking bite. That tick would have been plucked off its 8 spiny legs and sent to a swirling, watery grave. To join others wrenched from the dog’s skin and flushed down the toilet. And that would have been that.

But, as it turns out, this interloper didn’t just dine and ditch. Instead, it left a calling card — a bacterium that travels through the blood stream and takes residence in various body tissues.

Perhaps a few weeks later, the host felt the bacterium’s effects and she hobbled off to seek medical attention. The doctor extracted far more blood than the tick ever did, but confirmed the source of the aches, pains and migraines: Lyme Disease.

When diagnosed early, Lyme can be successfully knocked out with antibiotics. In this particular case, it took a few rounds of pills to erase all symptoms of the disease.

Fortunately, a few months later, all signs of the tick’s little gift disappeared. And have not returned.

However, the tick’s former host failed to realize that antibiotics can reduce the action of other medications. Including birth control.

Which might possibly account for this


It’s just a theory. We’ll never know if our “surprise” was indirectly the product of one little tick bite.

What we do know is that in a mere 5 weeks, the Boy and Barbarian will welcome a new roommate to their sleeping quarters.

Gender unknown, thanks to Martin who reasoned, “It started as a surprise, we might as well keep it that way.”

Estimated arrival on tick gift: May 28. Or thereabouts.