If Ticks could Talk Part Four (my name is Luna) 

Written by Jenny O’Dea, Ireland © February 2010

This is part four of my story. The mouse she runs and runs and the streaming blood is going to my head! Still, the poor mouse needs to run, that large growling creature behind her was catching us up fast. I had to hold on so tight; thank goodness that my mouth parts were well cemented in – there was no way I was going to fall off!

Eventually everything went dark and quiet and I could feel the mouse’s heart beat start to slow. It got me thinking – do ticks have hearts? I mean, we seem so different to other animals. Dips told me that when other animals breathe they use their mouth parts but I was scared and asked, how would we breathe if we need our mouth parts to feed? We could be there for days! Dips said we have special breathing holes* just below our legs – ingenious I thought. We really are clever. But do we have hearts?

I’m sure I’m feeling full now. I think I’ve been feeding for days. The mouse dashed through the grass and leaves and I found myself loosen my grip. I fell and pinged off the mouse’s nose and landed with a thud. I looked down and shuddered. Eugh, I look gross, I’ve expanded so much I can hardly walk! Dips told me that when I feed I must go and hide. That way I can moult and grow up to be a nymph – a nymph, I like the sound of that. I get to have eight legs and I can go and find more food.

I looked around and saw a beautiful stealth like figure walking towards me. Wow, she is beautiful – I want to look like her. So slim and slender and looking so sleek. “Who are you?” I asked. “I am Fantaz what’s your name?” “My name is Luna, I live by the second tree. I’m a bit lost now and I need to find my friend Dips.” “Ah yes, Dips asked me to look for you. You haven’t gone far – the mouse lived near here and she was lucky to escape the fox. It seems you were feeding a few days but now you should rest. That way you can move on to your next stage.”

“Will I look like you?” I asked, looking up at her and feeling very aware of my rather blood engorged self. “Oh yes Luna – I have moulted and am ready to continue on with my journey. Rest now little one and you will be ready to see more of the world. When you awaken – try to aim higher in your questing. You will need to find a larger animal for your next feed.”

Luna didn’t need persuading – she felt so tired and really happy that the mouse managed to stay safe from that nasty creature who chased her. A fox Fantaz said – I wonder if foxes eat ticks too. I’ll need to stay well hidden just in case.

I found a nice dark corner, in the root of the second tree, pulled a leaf over me and began my lovely sleep. I wonder what Dips is doing now I thought to myself. I couldn’t help smiling to myself – I’m going to look fantastic, just like Fantaz – I can’t wait!!

*The breathing holes called spiracles can be found on each side of the body below the base of the legs