Inteachán had once been to the Zoological Museum in Trinity College and among the age-eaten tusks and jarred animal organs on display she had been particularly drawn to the drawers and drawers of insects also available for perusal.

‘Orthopterous,’ quoted her father as Inteachán opened a particular drawer. ‘Belonging or pertaining to the Orthoptera, an order of insects, including the cockroaches, mantids, walking sticks, crickets, grasshoppers, and katydids, characterized by leathery forewings, membranous hind wings, and chewing mouthparts.’

‘Chewing mouthparts?’ repeated Inteachán. ‘I don’t like the sound of that.’

Her dad smiled and pulled her close.

‘Not something that you are ever likely to feel,’ he said as he hugged her.

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