One night I was staying at a friend’s apartment when I heard something rattling around in the kitchen. It was about 9pm and the only lights on were under the cabinets. I go in to check things out and what do I see but the single largest moth I’ve ever laid eyes on. I’m no expert but I firmly believe it could have just as easily fallen into the small bird category, also known in my world as the “too big to kill” category. One look at that moth and I knew 3 nights of nightmares was not worth it so I shut the lights in the kitchen, turned on a light in the back room, opened the back door and by the time I went to bed assumed it had showed itself out.
The next night I am standing in the kitchen when I hear something rummaging around in the laundry room. As I move towards it and ponder what manner of wildlife I’m rooming with tonight, the moth shoots past me, free at last to fly toward the light of the under-cabinets once more! Clearly he did not show himself out after all but instead took shelter among the cleaning supplies for the night, resting up for another delightful round of “crash repeatedly and with alarming speed into the light, wall and countertop.” The moth is going nuts and my mind is racing. I throw open the kitchen window, grab the first thing I could find on the counter – an empty plate – and then, of course, attempt to reason with a giant moth. Which went something to the effect of: “OK Moth, we both want the same thing here… for you to leave the house alive. I really have no idea how this is going to happen, what with you slamming your little body into the light over and over, never seeming to see that it’s not moving either of us closer to a solution here tonight.”
As this monologue is happening and apparently under the impression that apoplectic, winged creatures respond to stoneware, I am attempting to use the plate and a pencil to somehow shepard the moth the 5 or so feet from the cabinets to the open window. The moth’s response is to use the plate as one more surface at which to fling himself, now frantically bouncing off in 4 directions instead of 3. And I’m still babbling incoherently, “Look Moth, I know you don’t know what to do but FREAKING OUT is not going to solve anything. We both want to get you out of here safely and be free. But I can’t do it alone, Moth, I need your help. Come on, Moth, help me help you here.” Bouncing madness. Again, “HELP ME HELP YOU, MOTH!”
When suddenly the moth stopped dead and stood perfectly still on the counter. I quickly brought over my tools. And then, with just a gentle nudge, he stepped onto the edge of the plate and there he sat while I brought the plate outside the open window, when he took off into the night and I said to myself “I think I just bonded with a moth.”