We were fascinated by killing bugs when we were children and we devised some pretty cruel ways of doing the killing.
The smallest bugs we’d kill were those tiny red spiders – about the size of a full-stop – that dash along the tops of walls when it’s sunny. We’d fry those by focusing a tiny dot of on their backs with a magnifying glass.
The other bugs we killed we called ‘smack bottoms’. They were actually wood lice but Michael Hughes and I lifted logs, grabbed a handful of woodlice and gave them a … smack bottom.
The weirdest and most elaborate contraption we used to kill bugs was called a killer jar. We’d tear up laurel leaves picked from Bryn Aber and pop the pieces into a jam jar. We’d throw in a daddy longlegs, screw the lid tightly and watch the poor spider die slowly from the laurel fumes.
I’m ashamed now of the killing and I don’t know why I did it. Is it human nature to take pleasure in this?