Listen up, child, because I’m warning you.
Down south, there are mosquitoes—not
normal mosquitoes. These are as big as motorcycles
and twice as fast, and they will carry you off
if you’re not careful.

Don’t laugh. I’m serious!
They’ve been known to
carry small children away. They have wings,
noisy wings that sound like chainsaws
and if you listen, you can hear them flying around
looking for children.

When they find you,
they swoop down like small helicopters,
and before you even realize it
they’ll have you! They lift you up into the sky,
and then suck you dry almost instantly.

Those giant children-sucking mosquitoes
will suck every last drop of moisture out of you.
You’ll be dead before you hit the ground,
and then you’ll look like a dried-out-leaf,
the color of burnt umber, falling out
of the clear-blue-sky, blowing in the wind—
you’ll be lucky if anyone ever finds you.

As a matter of fact, that color that you will be,
burnt umber, is why they call them
Umber Mosquitoes.
Don’t laugh. I’ve seen ‘em!
They had one, stuffed,
at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago,
and it had a big gold plaque that read,
“Umber Mosquito that killed 700 children
and then died of indigestion.”