Thursday, March 17, 2011

First Fly of the Season

I think I'll call him Hubert.

I came home from work today and let Peanut out for a leak and there was Hubert sunning himself on the wall by the kitchen window. He sat up when he saw me and waved. Well, I have to tell you, my heart leapt.

Flies like my new friend Hubert, (Musca domestica, I believe – not being scientific), have quite the family tree. They are thought to have evolved in the beginning of the Cenozoic era, some 65 million years ago: originating in the Middle East. Because of their close relationship with man, they owe their worldwide dispersal to co-migration with humans. In fact, Hubert may be related to a fly that your ancestors knew...

Sayings have been made of flies just like Hubert in many languages around the world. In Chinese they say, "Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet." In Portuguese; "Every fly has its shadow." In Spanish; "Laws, like the spider's web, catch the fly and let the hawk go free." And in Groucho-ese; "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana." Wise words all.

In our daily vernacular, we say "Your fly is down." This does not mean your pet fly is depressed. It's a polite way to tell someone their zipper is down. If you "dress fly" it doesn't mean you sport a hairy body and wings, it means your personal fashion is "very cool or excellent."

While I don't even like flies personally, if the appearance today of my new friend Hubert is a harbinger of the coming of spring, then I'm his best bud.

Hubert is now, officially, my icon of hope. All bow to his presence.


  1. Yesterday, I met Hector the ant. He was having a leisurely crawl across my large living room window sill. I don't know where in the house he was sleeping, but sleeping he must have been because he was BIG and black.

    "Hello," I greeted Hector as he wove his way from shadow to light and back to shadow again. "Time flies when we're having fun!" I said, just before I whopped him and flushed him down the sink.

    Damned ants!

  2. I have to say this about Hector, though. He made me think of the Fables de Lafontaine, specifically of "La cigale et la fourmi". Hector had me dredging it up through the mists of my memory. Every French Canadian kid had to know this fable by heart, and although I never went to French primary school, all my cousins did and they chanted it enough for me to remember large parts of it:

    La cigale, ayant chanté
    Tout l'été,
    Se trouva fort dépourvue
    Quand la bise fut venue.

    How did they get "Aesop's Fables" from "Les fables de Lafontaine"?

  3. Okay Rand. You had me in stitches on this one. I'm a little behind on your posts, but this alone was enough to make my day. Inspiring in a strange, definitely delightful way!

  4. thanks you two! Patricia, you meant 'demented way' (not 'delightful way') I'm sure... lol.