One night last week, I was on my after dinner walk when I saw a neighbor of ours walking out the entrance to the apartment block. He had something small wrapped in newspaper in his hand. I hadn’t really noticed till after he called my attention to it after first wishing me.
“I found a cockroach in the corridor and have caught it in a piece of newspaper,” he said by way of explanation. What he said next had me gobsmacked. “I didn’t have the heart to kill it, so am going to set it free somewhere away from here.”
My jaw didn’t actually drop to the floor, but it came close before I pulled it back up. I mean, whoever heard of anyone saving cockroaches of all things?! Not me for sure. A roach is Enemy Numero Uno as far as humans are concerned.
I fall in the category of those who run a mile, or climb the nearest chair, when they see a roach. Others I know squish them critters on the spot, or if they are squeamish about it, use sprays/chalks to the same effect minus the yuck factor. But someone kindhearted enough to pick one up and set it free elsewhere? This I was seeing for the first time.
I looked at my neighbor with newfound respect. Kind people, especially those who show kindness to the much despised roaches, deserve applause. True, I loathe roaches and hope they rot in hell, and on earth too. I also think this is a bad precedent. What if the idea catches on? I shudder imagining life in a roach-infested world.
Personally I don’t think I can ever show magnanimity to cockroaches aspiring to enter my home, for eventually they will, however far you send them away. And yet I cannot but appreciate the kindness of a heart willing to save the life of a lowly roach.
© Shail Mohan 2022