"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
October 6, 2014
Uninvited Guests
by Kathryn H. Kidd

My eyelashes are infested by animalcules.

I learned this entirely by accident recently, when my eyelids started itching like crazy. I happened to be leaning over the bathroom sink when I scratched my eyelids, in preparation for my morning hair-washing ritual. Afterwards, there were two tiny red specks on the white porcelain — specks that had not been there before I scratched.

I touched a speck, and then I wished I hadn’t. Because then, when I lifted my finger, there were infinitesimal red legs splaying out from where the speck was lying.

It’s alive! I thought, even though, technically, it wasn’t anymore. I’d had no idea, or I never would have murdered the poor thing. I wondered if there had been a <SPLAT> when I had obliterated it, invisible to human ears but deafening to the ears of whatever creatures they were. I’m assuming that it had possessed ears. I wondered if it had screamed.

If you are envisioning these things, you may be thinking of them as being the size of a head of a pin. You would be wrong. An entire family of these things could use the head of a pin as a dining room table — that’s how small they are. I could only see the legs because I have amazing close-up vision. We could not see any other features on the animalcule even with Fluffy’s magnifying glass.

These things make a chigger look like Godzilla.

I did what any red-blooded American would do. I turned on the computer and googled it. I looked up “round red mites on eyelashes,” “tiny red bugs in eyelashes,” and everything in between. What I got were pictures of long, gray, wormy things.

What part of “round” and “red” did Google not understand?

I went to Bing, and Bing was even worse. It gave me false eyelashes and Halloween costumes and round pillow stuffed animals. Boy, was that helpful. I don’t know why people keep saying Bing is better than Google. I think they are Bing employees, because that’s not the experience I have whenever I try Bing out of desperation.

So I was left with my own little round things and no explanation for them. Fluffy told me to just soap up my eyelashes every day, trying hard to keep my eyes squeezed shut so none of the soap gets in my eyes.

That’s what I’m going to do, hoping that the little red bugs find somewhere else to live — somewhere with pinheads to use for dining room tables that are not my pinheads, and eyelashes to live in that are not my eyelashes.

Meanwhile, all I can think about is the movie Men in Black, where the punchline was an entire galaxy that was small enough to fit inside a bell that was hanging around a cat’s neck. I think about that sometimes. It was a clever plot twist.

Think about it. All the human beings in all the planets in that fictional galaxy must have been very tiny, and the dogs and cats were even tinier, and the fleas on the dogs and the cats were even tinier than that.

And assuming such a galaxy existed — because God has to put all His galaxies somewhere — God would have created all those tiny people and all those tiny dogs and cats and all those tiny fleas on all those dogs and cats. And, presumably, he was cognizant of all those little red specks in the eyebrows of those of us who have those specks in our eyebrows.

It boggles the mind. Of course, I freely admit that I have the sort of mind that is easily boggled.

I guess I’m a bit squeamish about killing things (even nasty little red specks that make my eyelids itch), because I always think of this scripture in Moses 6:63:

And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.

We live in a world of increasing cynicism, where people not only deny the existence of God, but then ridicule those who believe in such silly superstitions. But the older I get and the more I learn, the more I am in awe of the sheer variety and abundance of His creations — even these tiny red creatures who have currently rented out my eyelashes.


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About Kathryn H. Kidd

Kathryn H. Kidd has been writing fiction, nonfiction, and "anything for money" longer than most of her readers have even been alive. She has something to say on every topic, and the possibility that her opinions may be dead wrong has never stopped her from expressing them at every opportunity.

A native of New Orleans, Kathy grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana. She attended Brigham Young University as a generic Protestant, having left the Episcopal Church when she was eight because that church didn't believe what she did. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a BYU junior, finally overcoming her natural stubbornness because she wanted a patriarchal blessing and couldn't get one unless she was a member of the Church. She was baptized on a Saturday and received her patriarchal blessing two days later.

She married Clark L. Kidd, who appears in her columns as "Fluffy," more than thirty-five years ago. They are the authors of numerous LDS-related books, the most popular of which is A Convert's Guide to Mormon Life.

A former managing editor for Meridian Magazine, Kathy moderated a weekly column ("Circle of Sisters") for Meridian until she was derailed by illness in December of 2012. However, her biggest claim to fame is that she co-authored Lovelock with Orson Scott Card. Lovelock has been translated into Spanish and Polish, which would be a little more gratifying than it actually is if Kathy had been referred to by her real name and not "Kathryn Kerr" on the cover of the Polish version.

Kathy has her own website, www.planetkathy.com, where she hopes to get back to writing a weekday blog once she recovers from being dysfunctional. Her entries recount her adventures and misadventures with Fluffy, who heroically allows himself to be used as fodder for her columns at every possible opportunity.

Kathy spent seven years as a teacher of the Young Women in her ward, until she was recently released. She has not yet gotten used to interacting with the adults, and suspects it may take another seven years. A long-time home teacher with her husband, Clark, they have home taught the same family since 1988. The two of them have been temple workers since 1995, serving in the Washington D.C. Temple.

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