Friday, July 13, 2012

Chigger Bite



The Chigger Blues
by Jerry Schleicher


I ain't a'feered of snakes ner spiders, and ticks don't make me twitch.
I kin roll around nekked in a poison ivy patch and never even itch.
I ain't skeered much of lions ner tigers, or other carnivores much bigger.
The only critter that gives me the chills ... is the cold-hearted chigger.

They ain't no bigger than a dot. Most folks have never seen one.
You don't even know they bit ya', till they've already et' and gone.
And drilled yer skin with a bitin' end that's part needle and part digger.
Pound fer pound, the baddest bug around ... has got to be the chigger.

(read the whole poem here -- scroll down to the third poem)



I hacked down a monstrous pile of weeds in our school's land lab on Wednesday. For my trouble, I got a single chigger bite on the back of my right leg, right at the top edge of my sock. What's the big deal with a single chigger bite, you ask? Well, if you have to ask, you've never had any. If you have had chiggers, you know I'm going nearly mad with the itching. Thank goodness I only got one. Pass the calamine lotion, please.



Jone has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Check it Out.

15 comments:

  1. Wow, chiggers are scary! I love that there's a "Lariat Laureate"!

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  2. And there have been FEMALE "Lariat Laureate"s!! It will be a fun site to poke around in!

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  3. Yikes! A bolt of lightning woke the world last night in a "Summer Storm at Midnight" at The FATHER GOOSE Blog

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    1. I sent your link to the roundup hostess, Jone.

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  4. Honestly I didn't think chiggers ever came as singles, so I'm impressed you only got ONE. And I'm sorry too. I know all too well how miserable they can make a person.... no more blackberry picking for me! Wishing you itch-free!

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    1. Yes, the silver lining is definitely getting ONE. I've had swarms before...

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  5. Yikes! I don't think we have chiggers in Colorado. Thank heavens! Can't believe you could find a poem about it! Feel better!

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    1. One more reason to love Colorado. I think it's too dry there for chiggers.

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  6. Oh, I hate chigger bites! A bit of laughter is helpful medicine, though - thanks for sharing. (Love the idea of a "man-eatin chigger.")

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  7. I'm not sure I needed this the day before I head to Missouri, Mary Lee. Usually I don't get bitten, but my husband was plagued by chiggers when we traveled back. Hopefully we can keep the granddaughters away. They are terrible. The poem says it all, doesn't it? Love those 'chigger blues'.

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  8. Calvin Trillin has a great bit about chiggers where he talks about how the itch is just short of eternal, and some people say amputation helps a little. Hope you recover from your chigger encounter quickly!

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  9. Yowch, Mary Lee--I'm educated in all sorts of ways by your post, the poem and the comments! I think I can safely say now that I have avoided chiggers, although I've assumed that I had 'em. People used to talk about them all the time down in Richmond, VA, and I think I thought they burrowed in under your skin.

    This reminds me also of what I heard on "Fresh Air" yesterday in honor of Woody Guthrie's 100th--his talking blues numbers.

    By the way, can you send me the new PF schedule code? Thanks!

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  10. Oh no! That's terrible. Poor you.

    I love the line about the chigger being the "arachnid version of the vampire".

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  11. Wow, cowboy poetry! I just recently learned that existed, and now here's a fabulous example! I have never had a run-in with a chigger and hope to never have one, now that I know what one is. Yuck! Loved the poem, though -- and Lariat Laureates? Wonderful!

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