So my abode is suffering a bit of a flea infestation these days. Despite liberal applications of hideous toxic chemicals (that I would never consider using if I weren't absolutely desperate), those sprightly little specks are still bouncing about merrily both inside and out. My 14-year-old has threatened to move out and stay out unless the situation improves and I've acquired the habit of obsessively inspecting my ankles every 5 minutes.
Thanks to children's books, I have surprisingly affectionate feelings for many types of creepy-crawlies. Snails (The End of the Beginning by Avi), worms (The Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin), flies (Tedd Arnold's "Fly Guy" series), spiders (Charlotte's Web by E.B. White), and even cockroaches (Martina, the Beautiful Cockroach by Carmen Agra Deedy) are all wonderful characters in terrific books, which have changed the way I think about these creatures.
When I tried to think of books about fleas, I drew a blank. After a bit of searching, I came up with these:
The Napping House by Audrey Wood. Everything I loathe about fleas is here - the biting, the destroying of sleep. Bleah! On to the next book...
The Flea's Sneeze by Lynn Downey. Another flea who wakes everyone up, but this time by sneezing. Still annoying, but kinda cute too. He snuffles in such an endearing way.
I Want to Stay Here! I Want to Go There! by Leo Lionni. In this quirky book, a flea with wanderlust drags his reluctant companion along to animal after animal. It reminded me a bit of my husband and me (I'm the traveler) - and yes, it has awakened a bit of fellow feeling in me toward my fellow flea denizens.
Ed & Fred Flea by Pamela Duncan Edwards. A cranky flea on a dog is doused with flea powder. Ha! Now that's my idea of a happy ending!
There was a moment last night when I was trying to stomp on a flea that was happily sproinging all over my bathroom floor and I thought, "This is one charismatic fellow." Then it bit me. No surrender! Down with fleas!