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The Iberian Horseshoe — A Journey

Part III. South East

On Cockroaches

Steve Porter
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Leaves do not fall from palm trees, while flowers grow all year round. There are only two seasons in Elche. Suddenly instead of being cold in the house, we were opening all the windows. The long hot summer meant the return of the cockroach. Some people associate these beasts with bad hygiene but in a hot climate no amount of cleaning will stop them. Big beasts with long feelers could be heard scuttling across the floor at night. They would appear in kitchen cupboards—cockroaches love pasta. Mary would not go near them so I became the assassin. I do not enjoy killing any living thing but there were just too many to attempt to deal with them humanely. They would have taken over the flat. We set traps, which somehow sedate the cockroach, causing it to flip over on its back, where it can be finished off with a heavy shoe. Catching them is no easy task if they are on the move and not drugged up, as they scuttle at a fair speed. It wasn’t simply land warfare either. I soon learned they could take off into the air when approached on their way up a cupboard door. Cockroaches looked menacing enough without having to face up to the aerial stealth of the adult.

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Copyright ©Steve Porter, 2004
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Date of publicationFebruary 2007
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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