A bit later, there was a soft knock on the door. I said, "Enter." It was Mr. Butterfly.
By that time he was on the side of my bed leaning towards me. "Yes, he is a real hottie! You are a very lucky man. And he also seems interested in you. That is even better. Luck is on your side my friend."
"Oh I know. I can't wait until tomorrow! How can I sleep? I am too excited to sleep! Tomorrow I go on the trip of my dreams with the man of my dreams." Then he released a deep breath of air.
"Well, you have to try to sleep. You don't want to be nodding off while he is talking, do you?"
"No. Good point. I'll go right back to my room and try. Thanks Sue!" Off he went. Good little soldier, off to bed.
* * *
Mr. Butterfly awoke the next morning after tossing and turning all night dreaming about chasing Roble in muddy Nile waters. Roble was always just out of his reach. Then with a big smile, he just slipped through his fingers and away. The young explorer's bed clothes were a tangled mess when he awoke. But he got up and dressed for adventure.
He and Roble were up way before Sue and Ernst to begin their long drive to the outer areas of the Nile Delta. He hadn't brought much in the way of collecting gear, since so little was allowed due to security on planes these days. No fluids, no tweezers, no small containers, it was really limiting. All he really had was a note book and pen. Roble was to bring everything else they needed.
Nuri was up and had a quick breakfast prepared for them. Roble showed up shortly. The two entomologists wolfed down their soft boiled eggs and falafel with plenty of hot tea. Then they headed outside to Roble’s shiny new truck. Roble just had to show off his gear to Mr. Butterfly. He had the proper equipment for collecting aquatic insects, waders, and mist nets, everything a boy could want to catch water bugs. Mr. Butterfly ohhed and ahhed as expected and Roble was visibly pleased. Then they hopped into the truck and drove off. Roble knew where he was going generally from being in the Nile Delta area, at least enough to get them to where they were meeting with the boy Odji.
They talked bugs on the way there. Pretty boring stuff if you ask me, but there it is. Of course, they were entranced with the conversation and each other. They drove to a small village with little mud brick houses and Roble pulled in front of one where a good looking boy sat. The boy stood as they stopped and got out of the truck. Roble stepped towards the boy and introduced himself and the young explorer, and the boy said that his name was Odji. Odji called out to the owner of the house and a man came forward from inside to show them in. They grabbed their things from the truck and went into the house.
It was a typical rural Egyptian house. There was a front room for guests, rooms inside for sleeping, and a kitchen and bath in the courtyard out back. Roble and Mr. Butterfly were to share a room and they dropped their stuff in that room. They thanked their host as profusely as was required and then they were on their way with Odji to the Nile to work.
"Oh, you mean like crocodiles?"
"What???" said Mr. Butterfly excitedly. "There could be crocodiles?"
"Why of course there could be. You just have to watch out for the telltale slides in the mud to make sure that a female isn't nesting nearby and going to get angry with you for disturbing her eggs."Mr. Butterfly began to sweat and was looking around in all directions frantically. Roble took advantage of the young explorer's near panic by sneaking up behind him, growling and grabbing him around the waist. Mr. Butterfly shrieked deafeningly and splashed as if a crocodile was really attacking him.
"Seriously, crocodiles are no joke here in the Nile. None have been reported here in years, but we keep our eyes open. Odji is our lookout. If he sees one he will call to us. If we see one, we will run like hell. We might visit areas where there are some, but not today. Sorry I played a joke on you Mr. Butterfly. I apologize. I would never really put your life in jeopardy. Will you forgive me?" and then he batted those big brown eyes at the young explorer. Mr. Butterfly's heart melted.