Summer Bugs

Osage Spider

I love spiders.

When I find one in the house I gently escort her outside.

Spiders are the symbol of the Osage people, and rightly so. They carry their homes with them, on their backs, ready for the next adventure. And they help rid my garden of bugs that dine on my lettuce and roses.

But when it comes to ants, I try to channel the peaceful soul, like Leslie Marmon Silko, who said she shoo-s the ants toward the kitchen door when they try to colonize her house.

But I’m not as cool as Silko. I can’t stand ants. I’ve tried the humane approach (a squirt of vinegar), an eco-friendly approach (a non-toxic commercial spray) and the nuclear attack (full-fledged ant killer, deployed outside at the perimeter of the house). The nuke attack did the trick.

Just can’t pretend to be nature-mama, lettin’ my freak flag fly. I hold sway over the damn ants.

I’ve concocted a spray from jalapenos and black pepper corns and spray the plants, ever hopeful the bugs will be repelled. Sometimes the arugula tastes ever so spicy, absorbing some of the pepper into its veins.

We’ve settled on a truce, the bugs and me. There’s a sprig for them and a leaf for me. I honor the spider but deplore the ant.

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About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. She is enrolled with the Osage tribe.
This entry was posted in authenticity, Indian, Native Science, Osage, science, science communication and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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