The Killer Worm

My sister Jo and Sophie, and me

The last time I went to visit my sister in New Orleans. I wanted to go French Quarter to have coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter, but NO! Jo refused to take me there. Instead she took me to a local outdoor cafe in New Orleans. As we were walking to the quaint cafe I noticed a lot of caterpillars crawling all over the sidewalk. I asked Jo, “What are all these worms?” Her reply was “Thems are mean caterpillars and if you get stung you could die.” Jo also told me to watch my purse because this was not a safe area. I had just returned from Jerusalem and was home for twelve hours before boarding a plane to New Orleans, so I still had my passport on me. I was uncomfortable with the situation and leaned against the wall, hanging on to my handbag so that it would not get snatched.

The killer caterpillar about ready to sting me
The actual caterpillar that stung me

We were to meet Tori, Jo’s son for lunch at twelve, so we left in plenty of time to allow for parking. As we were walking to Jo’s vehicle, my right hand started to throb, and pain was shooting through some of my fingers. I told Jo that I was not feeling well. Jo jokingly said, “Maybe you got stung by one of those caterpillars!” I really did not understand what was going on, and thought maybe I was having some type of mini- stroke. We get in my sister’s Hummer with her granddaughter Sophie in the backseat, and the pain became more intense. I am a bit of drama, and I really wanted to know why all of a sudden this pain came about. In the meantime, Jo found a really good parking spot, when all of a sudden both of my legs started to feel the same pain as my fingers, throbbing, burning, and at this point I just thought that I could be having a mild heart attack. I grabbed for my purse and a huge venomous caterpillar was stuck to on the handbag. I had never screamed so loud in my life. I tried to fling the caterpillar off but,  it latched on to my already injured hand.  I yelled at the top of my lungs, “The worm! The Worm!” I did everything possible to removes the aggressive creature, and my body was  moving wildly and out of control. “The Worm! The Worm! it’s biting me!” Jo’s sweet four-year-old granddaughter was crying from all the commotion. Before Jo could park, she yelled for me to get out of the car. I jumped out dazed and in shock. In front of another sidewalk cafe sat a man and his wife enjoying an early lunch when I approached him with my wild story. At that point I had no idea where the killer worm was and I was not going to go back into that vehicle until I saw its spiny body with my own two eyes. The poor man came to the vehicle and used a napkin to remove the disgusting, crawling critter.

My inner knees were on fire from the stings of the beast and I was shaking, almost to the point of passing out. Tori showed up and Jo told him what happened. Tori left  to purchase some Benadryl for me. We sat at the beautiful table with white linens, and the waiter came to ask for our drink order, but I could not speak because of the pain.  Jo told the waiter about the incident, and the waiter shared a story about his daughter who was recently hospitalized because of injuries caused by same kind of caterpillar. Of course this story validated my fear. Though it was an upscale restaurant, I did not enjoy my meal because for all I knew, it could have been my last one.

I picked up some type of virus either in the Holy Land or in New Orleans, so when I returned from New Orleans, I was bedridden. Mike was sure it was the poisonous toxins injected by the caterpillar, but I was too weak to think about it. I did remember that we took several pictures the day of the incident, so  I grabbed for my phone and swiped across the photos. I came to one picture, and using my index finger and thumb, I enlarged it, there, plain as day, was corpulent caterpillar.

If my sister had taken me to get coffee and beignets in French Quarter, the incident with the caterpillar would not have happened.

Isaiah 33:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

And Your plunder shall be gathered
Like the gathering of the caterpillar;
As the running to and fro of locusts,
He shall run upon them.




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