What luck, six-year-old came home with the usual head-louse letter last week. Perfect timing. We’ve been louse-free for six months now, but I knew it would not last. Luckily he has straight fine hair and a quick run through with the nit comb we bought on holiday (that’s another story) showed nothing…this time. Lice hold no fear in this household. They come, they go, and occasionally I will mount one on a card as an entomological exhibit.
It is perfect timing because it gives a perfect way in to introduce this blog, all about head lice. We love lice, or rather we love to hate them. To vent this love/hate relationship with nits, Justine and I are writing a book about them.
Here’s what we know about lice:
They are beautifully described in a Victorian monograph as ‘cadaverous ashen white’. Masterful.
They bite. But it doesn’t hurt. Strange.
They suck blood. That’s what the black wiggly line is down the inside of their body — your blood.
They sneak about as if by magic, but they don’t fly, they don’t jump, they don’t hop or skip or vault.
They don’t live in hats, or hair-brushes, or towels or cycle helmets. Nor do they loiter with intent on the lacy antimacassars draped over the back of your grandparent’s easy chairs.
Lice are fascinating.