'Twas early in the spring when I decide to go,Wade Hemsworth
For to work up in the woods in North Ontario;
And the unemployment office said they'd see me through
To the Little Abitibi with the survey crew.And the black flies, the little black fliesNow the man Black Toby was the captain of the crew,
Always the black fly no matter where you go
I'll die with the black fly a-pickin' on my bones
In North Ontario, io, in North Ontario.
And he said "I'm gonna tell you boys what we're gonna do;
They want to build a power dam and we must find a way
For to make the little Ab flow around the other way."ChorusSo we survey to the east and we survey to the west,
And we couldn't make our minds up how to do it best.
Little Ab, Little Ab, what shall I do?
For I'm all but goin' crazy on the survey crew.ChorusIt was blackfly, blackfly, blackfly, everywhere,
A-crawlin in your whiskers, a- crawlin in your hair;
A-swimmin' in the soup and a-swimmin' in the tea
Oh the Devil take the blackfly and leave me be.ChorusBlack Toby fell to swearin' cuz the work went slow,
And the state of our morale was a-gettin' mighty low,
And the flies swarmed heavy; it was hard to catch a breath,
As you staggered up and down the trail, talkin' to yourself.ChorusNow the bull cook's name was Blind River Joe;
If it hadn't been for him, we'd've never pulled through.
For he bound up our bruises and he kidded us for fun,
And he lathered us with bacon grease and balsam gum.ChorusAt last the job was over; Black Toby said "We're through
With the Little Abitibi and the survey crew."
T'was a wonderful experience and this I know,
I'll never go again to North Ontario.Chorus
Well, so much for that theory. I mean the one I had that there weren't that many mosquitos here, and no blackflies to speak of. There's a shit-load of the little bastards, both of them. I've just managed to avoid coming up to visit Mom when they were at their peak, or maybe she doesn't have 'em. I dunno.
Mosquitos are annoying, but black flies are of the devil. It's not just the biting, it's the swarms of them that crowd around you, trying to get into your eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Fortunately it's been sunny the last few days; like other vampires they prefer not to be out in the full light of the sun.
I find they don't make me quite as itchy as they did when I was a kid and we used to go to our cottage in Muskoka. There were a lot more of them there, too. I figured for every wild strawberry I picked I got a mosquito or black fly bite. When I got bitten then I would swell up in red welts the size of a quarter, with a bleeding hole in the middle that would trickle for what seemed like hours. Now the bites are no worse than mosquito bites, which is not to say I haven't spent hours scratching. It must be my tired old immune system; it can't be arsed anymore. Just as well. I couldn't figure out though, why I wasn't bleeding now. I thought they injected an anti-coagulant to keep the supply flowing.
I was congratulating myself on having escaped that aspect of it, when I absent-mindedly put up my hand to scratch the back of my head, and found a little line of lumpy clots gluing my hair to the back of my neck.
Well, so much for that theory.