the tree outside my door has become infested with these strange, beautiful worms. they sew giant sleeping bags across the leaves of the tree that grow larger and larger like a big spiderweb, but it is only a tent to protect them from predators while the webworm feasts on leaves.
growing up, we had two trees in our front yard and two in our backyard that became home to these little, furry creatures. they fell into the car, into backpacks, into the cracks in the old house. like an old man’s eyebrow that has come to life, these white bugs meander all over the walls of my memories.
now, they have found a home outside my window. the tree, like its hands are wrapped in bandages, does nothing to stop the webworm. the webworms crawl up and down the doorways and patios. they climb over windows. they tickle your hand in the dark when you reach for the door.
the fall webworm is harmless unless you are a tree. however, they do attract hornets that hunt them. more than one stray hornet has chased a fall webworm into my apartment, where the hornet becomes the hunted victim of a very agile cat.
all in all, i am fond of the fall webwrom. i feel like calling all of them mortimer. they all look like tiny mortimers, to me.