It turns out that chiggers are not just an Arkansas thing. We spent Monday at a friend's village home, at the top of a cool, damp mountain, eating steaming thick curry with fluffy white rice, picking pumpkins, rock-climbing, and getting chiggers. My legs are covered in those little red bumps that Southerners know so well. For those of you who are not from the South, chiggers are nasty, tiny bugs that burrow holes in your skin into which they deposit their eggs. These eggs hatch and the larvae use your skin for a nursery until they are big enough to leave the nest. The whole process takes about two weeks and it is AWFUL. The itching is so bad right now, it wakes me from my sleep. I learned an important lesson Monday. Don't climb the rocks here unless you are wearing long pants!
Actually, I learned two lessons. If you buy a live hen from your friend in the village, the bird can be calmly transported to town in a sack, providing that you cut a hole for its head.