At my uncle’s house in Diamond Springs, after the first rain, our house gets bombarded with these large flying beetles. They aimlessly slam into windows, objects and people. They are rarely seen otherwise, and seem to disappear once winter fully sets in.

Yesterday I was walking across the property after the rain, and found one laying on its back in a puddle. It was on a tarp next to some furniture, kicking its legs around frantically, unable to get back up. For the time, I ignore it.

Today the sun was shining bright. I’m outside smoking a cigarette when I notice that the tarp still has standing water on it, and the beetle is still alive and kicking. It’s about the size of my thumb. It tries here and there to flip itself over with its wings, but has no luck. After observing for a while, I take one end of the tarp and fling it up slightly, thinking maybe the bug will take flight. It lands on its back in a dry section of tarp. It begins pressing with its wings again, coming closer to success this time.

“If you can’t get up, I’m going to have to kill you.”

I don’t think I ever meant that ultimatum. It kept trying, but with each press upward, it slid down the tarp slightly, until moments later it rolled into a deeper puddle than before. ┬áIt couldn’t even do anything with its wings now, only kick its legs around. I went to the porch and grabbed a broom and dust pan. As I fumbled to unattach the dust pan, I dropped the broom. The handle slammed to the ground so close to the beetle, that had it been 1mm further to the right, it would have crippled the bug terribly.

I realized that I was the beetle.

I swept it into the dust pan and turned it over, then hurled it toward the lawn where it walked away into the grass.

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