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Pair of voles with five young


Most voles behave like the Duke in Rigoletto.
Except—praise be to Darwin—for a laudable
mutation that’s faithful till death do ’em part.
I could kiss the lab geeks who not only found
the chaste gene responsible for such steadfast

Monogamy; but messed with libertines’ DNA
so they too could taste the joys of married life
(and be as happy as voles can be as prisoners
at a university). Bye, infidelity! Ugly divorce!
Let no vole put asunder what Geneticists join



Earwig on leaf


Who are motherless, like neglected children,
lead a tough life (no moms around to feed or
protect them from predators). Women raised
motherless are less attentive to their children
than mothered women; & this holds true for

Earwigs. Deprived of maternal love—nymphs
metamorphose into less than exemplary moms.
As Scientific American puts it: Orphaned Bugs
Make Bum Parents. Science humanizing what
I hitherto thought (at best) an ugly & annoying

PEST . . .