The mystery guest

I (JM) have been playing my violin a bit more since our return, having purchased a new violin bow over the visit back home. Lately, one of the spare bows in my violin case seemed to be losing some of its hairs: after opening the case, some of its strands would be dangling away from the stick. I examined it on a few occasions, and thought perhaps it was catching on some edge inside the case, snapping a few of the hairs in the process.

Today I again noticed this problem, and it became obvious that these latest hairs were snapped a few inches down from the edge of the bow stick. I looked again, and there on the underside of the bow hair was a small larvae, complacently grazing on my horse hair!

This is the first time something like this has ever happened to my instrument, so of course I thought “Only in China.” Somehow the little critter worked its way inside my case, perhaps while it was open during my practicing, and found its way to an unlikely feast. It had been shearing the strands of hair for the last week at least, getting nice and plump in the process.

My immediate concern was that he might have found his way inside the wood of my violin- worm holes are an unlucky and expensive repair to need on an instrument. But so far no other signs of damage.

So I’m reminded once again that our life here in China is much more in tandem with the flora and fauna around us, welcome or unwelcome. At least the fall will bring lots of great produce at the markets, and a break in the summer’s heat. I don’t look forward to the chill of winter coming ahead, but we’ll enjoy this cool weather while it lasts, along with whatever critters it brings along with it.

But other would be bow-munchers beware, lest ye suffer the same fate as poor little Wormy!

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3 Responses to “The mystery guest”


  1. 1 mjfalk September 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Glow, Little Glow Worm takes on new meaning now. Love from Green Bay, home of the victorious GB Packers over the Bears—last night’s game was a glorious treat for Packer fans here—we enjoyed it over Shrimp Jambalaya with your favorite Aunt and Uncle.

  2. 2 Orianne September 14, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    When Aris was four, he kept an inch worm in his violin case for about two hours before we convinced him that a violin was not a natural environment for an inch worm. : )

  3. 3 Julie M. September 18, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    That is so yucky!!!!!! It never occurred to me that that is even a possiblity, yuck. SO glad it was not your good bow!!!!!!!


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