The vermin only teaze and pinch
Their foes superior by an inch.
So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite ’em,
And so proceed ad infinitum.
Taken from “On Poetry: a Rhapsody“, Jonathon Swift (1733)
I was taken aback when I saw this robber fly on my hydrangea about to tuck into a smaller fly while he himself was being made a meal of by a red tick or mite on his side.
So what’s inside the mite – bacteria, ‘phages, viruses, prions? Mmm, first poetry, next philosophy, I think I prefer to keep to observation.