What fades to background?

Among the things I no longer see in my house is the ghost of a ladybug that haunts my uncertain geranium. The geranium’s uncertainty is, in part, due to the languishing aloe vera at the other end of the bookcase. The two plants are uneasy allies in the cold war against the cat. The cat doesn’t understand why two such tasty plants would declare war on her, but being a cat, she doesn’t much care. She cares about the magpies who hop so brazenly on the front lawn. Who taunt her with their casual peck-peck-pecking at the ants hiding in the grass. The magpies know full well the cat cannot leap through the window, and they relish their leisurely feast. Now, the ants are four or five different colonies fighting for dominance in the small pie-shaped lot we call home, and the magpies do love when one colony tries to take over another. When I still saw the ladybug’s ghost, she would pretend unconcern but asked if I could see any unattended aphid farms amid the fray. I meant to check, but I noticed my cyclamen had collapsed over its pot from lack of water. “Drama, drama, drama,” said the ladybug’s ghost. We both rolled our eyes.

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