I’m a Murderer

When I was little I loved all animals and insects. In fact I loved them so much that sometimes I accidentally loved them to death.

Like when I fed my fish – day…


and night.


It was months before my parents realised what I was doing and we had gone through countless fish (and backyard funerals).


Then there were the skinks.


I could never understand why they didn’t seem to live very long in their little skink houses. The homes I created for them had absolutely everything a skink could ever want! Grass…dirt…water…




When I was a little older I spent a whole day trying to help cicadas out of their shells – partly because I was impatient and partly because I knew they had such a short life span. I just tried to get them out into the big wide world as quickly as possible.


There were no survivors, but I learned my lesson and never tried to hurry them again.


There was one particular incident, however, that haunts me to this day.

When I was about six I discovered a little nest in a small tree around the side of our house. I was absolutely beside myself as I had never seen a nest that close up before, let alone looked inside one. I was dying to take a peek at what I imagined would be a nest full of cute little baby birds.

The tree wasn’t much taller than me and I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to climb up and have a peek inside. The only problem was, the mother bird was always sitting in it and I didn’t want to scare her, so I left it alone.


One day I came outside to find the mother bird gone.



I couldn’t quite see inside the nest, so I tilted it slightly towards me.


I got to see the three most beautiful little eggs tucked cosily among the twigs and leaves…


for about one whole second before they toppled from the nest and smashed upon the ground.


I was a monster.

I felt so guilty that I didn’t go around that side of the house for many months – I couldn’t bear to return to the scene of my crime. I also had paranoid fears that the mother bird would know what I had done and peck out my eyes with her little beak.

But that was all a long time ago – I was just an innocent, curious child. I shouldn’t carry any guilt for those unfortunate accidents.


But I do.

14 thoughts on “I’m a Murderer

  1. Glad you provide illustrations, because I had no idea what a skink was!

    We are in the process of slowly killing a rhino beetle, or so I think. She hides away not touching food or water for days, and just when I think she’s a goner, I wake up to find her with her head in the jelly (we feed her bits of fruit and also those little containers of pre-made fruit jelly from the Asian grocer). We call her the come-back kid (bug).

      • Only the one on a blog post I did when we first got her, which I think you’ve seen already. As she has clawlike protrusions on her legs, I haven’t been game to let her sit on my hand again. It was too hard getting her off last time.

        I just realised that we’ve managed to keep her alive for more than three months now! I am very chuffed with myself for that. 🙂

  2. I’ll make you feel better.

    A couple of years ago I killed all of my children’s fish (AS AN ADULT) by over-feeding them. They just always looked hungry with their little opening mouths and they swam to the top of the tank each time they saw me. I couldn’t figure out why they kept dying and the children were all crying. Then the woman at the pet shop got a little suspicious I think (me coming in and buying new fish every couple of days). She made me test the water and once she had the readings she knew just what I had done. And so did the weeping ones.

    As for the bird nest, I think a lot of kids do that. But you learned from it and didn’t do it again.

    When I was a kid: I had a hamster, it was running around freely and my mum was in the walk in cupboard in the kitchen. She told me to watch the little thing and I did so. Then I saw her heading out of the cupboard and him heading towards it and I froze, I couldn’t speak. Yep, she squashed him with the door.

    • Oh noooo! That is the exact reason I kept feeding the fish… those open, hungry mouths! I am so glad to know I am not alone in my accidental serial-killing!

  3. I am guilty of overfeeding fish, plucking wings off cicadas but I can’t say I have dropped a bird’s egg. Them’s the breaks (sorry!). I think it was manslaughter at best. lol. xx

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