If you’ve got an itch, scratch it.
The old man certainly did have an itch,
so he scratched it.
“Watch out!” came a little voice from the vicinity of the scratch area, “You almost caused me a mischief!”
The old man, only slightly puzzled (as he had lived a very long time, and seen and heard many a strange thing) looked carefully, with his reduced eyesight, and espied a small creature of no more than yay long.
“What are you up to?” asks the old man, “And is it causing my itch?”
“I am just trying to live a humble life.” said the humble voice – and it did sound very humble, just like a microscopic Uriah Heep. “Sorry if I’m causing you a bother, but I seem to have fallen off of my rat.”
“You own a rat?” asked the old man. “What colour was it? Always trying to be helpful, the old man looked around to see if there were any rats (of any colour) in the near vicinity.
“I don’t own it…” explained the voice, “I just hitched a lift, and then fell off – most annoying it is when that happens.”
“I can believe it would be.” agreed the old man, “Did you say what colour it was?”
“Black.” said the voice. “A regular Model T Ford sort of rat.”
“My you are educated, for a…?” the old man curtailed his sentence as he still had not a clue as to whom he was having a conversation with.
“I’m a flea.” said the flea.
“Oh, dear.” said the old man, sadly. “Are you carrying the plague?”
“I might be.” said the flea, “Anyway, you look like you’ve lived long enough already. About time you popped your clogs.” the flea had spoken with a brightness that belied the subject matter.
“Oh.” said the old man. “Bother.”