michelel72 (michelel72) wrote,

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The Dragonfly Hunter

The company for which I work has several offices (six now, I think). Every now and then I have to report to our MetroWest location, and today was such a day.

This building is six floors, and my group is on the fourth. For reasons of environment and exercise, I will generally take the stairs rather than the elevator, unless I'm late. I did so today even though I was late.

As I neared the first landing, between the first and second floors, I first turned my head slightly, leading into the turn, as you do. And then I flailed because there was something on me.

I quickly calmed down once I realized it was a dragonfly, but part of me was still in "get it off!" mode, so I waved at it until it left my shoulder and landed on the wall. I thought about trying to get it back outside, but I had no container with me and, well, I was late.

I got to my floor, signed in, found a container, went back down ... and found that the dragonfly had moved onto the light fixture on the back wall, a good ten or eleven feet from the floor.

I could conceive no way to get it to come down; I couldn't find anything to reach with.

And this was driving me crazy. I kept thinking about the high metabolism of insects and the complete lack of food or water for it in the barren, nutritionally sterile stairwell.

At lunch I headed out to grab a BK Veggie Sandwich (TM and all that), and as I neared Target, I realized that I could buy a set of those car door-edge ding guards. They're long and flexible, so I could try to use them gently to scoot the dragonfly to a more accessible location, and then I could put them on my car, so they wouldn't be wasted.

So of course I couldn't find any such thing at Target.

I bought my lunch, raced back, wolfed down what I could, and raced to the meeting that had required me to be in this building in the first place. I tried to participate, and I did provide good input, but I was badly distracted. It's going to die and it's all my fault. I trapped it. I'm a murderer! What can I use to save it? How long do I have? Someone outside the private office we were using had a radio with long antenna, and I came close to asking to borrow that.

During a brief lull I headed out to check on the little guy, and he wasn't looking good. I was worried he had already crossed over, but I couldn't be sure. I stopped by my group's area and tried to find something, anything, and one guy who didn't know my objective suggested a chair and a ruler. I dismissed this idea as inadequate, but it kept coming back to me.

When we adjourned I checked again, and I was sure li'l Draggy had moved, so I became determined. I returned to my group's area to retrieve a container, a piece of paper, and a ruler. One woman knew my objective and couldn't believe that I was trying this; what if I fell down the stairs? I asked why I would and she seemed to think trying to carry a plain wooden chair in a stairwell was tantamount to walking a high-wire blindfolded.

I headed down, borrowing a chair from an unoccupied desk on the third floor rather than my own floor to be that little bit safer (and because I'm lazy). The ruler didn't quite work with the angle I had to work with, so I rapped the (fluorescent) light fixture with it and waved it around to make air currents and the like until Draggy got annoyed and shifted, and then again until he flew around a bit and then bounced his way all the way down the wall to the floor.

At that point it was simple. Pop the plastic container over him -- and he seemed to know because he tried to climb the container before I could dismount from the chair -- and slide the paper under and transport. It worked perfectly. The second I tilted the container up outside my little guy launched himself into the sky, free.

I returned the chair to its home, winding myself in the process, and returned myself to my group. A couple of people asked how it had gone and I was delighted to be able to report my victory.

Most of them are laughing at me. I don't care.

Booooooooooorrrrrrnn frrreeeeeee ....

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