esias - W B Yeats - Robert Hook - Jonathan Swift - Robert Lanza - David Attenborough TV - Natural History Museum: World of Wonder TV - Lucy Worsley TV -
I have a flea.
He lives in the mat
By my feet.
If he curses God
And hopes to die
Or maybe Life is rosy
By sucking the blood
Of my feet.
For fun, this fiend;
Fires his belly i’ the sun.
Live and let live, says the flea. esias ryder, The Penthouse, 2009
But was there ever dog that praised his fleas? W B Yeats
The microscope manifests it to be all over adorned with a curious polished sable suit of armour, and beset by multitudes of sharp pins shaped almost like porcupine's quills, or bright conical steel bodkins. Robert Hook, Micrographia
So, naturalists observe, a flea
Hath smaller fleas that on him rey;
And these have smaller fleas to bite ’em,
And so proceed ad infinitum
Thus every poet, in his kind,
Is bit by him that comes behind. Jonathan Swift, On Poetry
We are more than the sum of our biochemical functions. Even the tiniest flea is an incredibly complex living creature, with mouth-parts adapted to feeding on the blood of your cat or dog. Robert Lanza
Some animals can perform amazing physical feats. A flea’s jump is said to be the equivalent of a man leaping over St Paul’s cathedral. And it’s famously quoted that cheetahs can run at speeds of 70 miles per hour. Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities s3e1: Impossible Feats, BBC 2013
There are more than 2,500 species worldwide. ibid.
They can leap a respected thirty-eight times their bodies. ibid.
These photographs [Mexican costume fleas] will now form part of an enormous digital archive project recording every single item the museum owns. Natural History Museum: World of Wonder s1e2, Channel 5 2021
Even royal bed furnishings were often infested with fleas. Dr Lucy Worsley, Tales from the Royal Bedchamber, BBC 2013