1 watercolour sheet, size A3

1 well-sharpened pencil

1 single-use straw

1 mug

 1 dl water (heated to body temperature)

A description of the life of the tick as told by Jakob von Uexküll in “Foray to the world of animals and humans” (p. 44–45)


The exercise is undertaken by one person at a time, helped by an assistant. The participant sits either on the floor or at the table. The assistant sits on the opposite side. 


Aim: The exercise is meant to give the participant an experience of how a tick approaches its prey and how it nourishes itself with the blood of the animal.




Listen to the description of the tick´s life as read by the assistant. 


Take a pencil and an empty sheet. Draw on it traces that look like hairs. Choose the length and the type of hairs yourself. Fill the sheet with the hairs. Imagine that drawing changes the sheet into the skin of a mammal. 


When you are satisfied with your drawing, put the blunt end of the pencil between your teeth and grip it strongly. 


Grasp the sheet with both hands, holding the shorter edges, and put it in front of your face. Hold it at arm´s length from your face. 


Approach the sheet with the pencil (by bending your arms or stretching your neck, or both) so that the point of the pencil touches its surface. Penetrate the surface with the pencil and push it through the sheet until your lips touch the surface.


(As the pencil appears on the other side of the sheet, the assistant takes hold of it and pulls it out) 


Let the pencil slip out of your mouth but do not lose lip-contact with the sheet. Keep your mouth slightly open. 


(On the other side, the assistant replaces the pencil with a straw. She takes the straw and pushes it through the sheet so that it reaches your mouth.) 


Grasp the straw with your lips.


(The assistant fills a mug with 1 dl of lukewarm water and dips the free end of the straw into the mug.)


Suck all the liquid through the surface. Then, by holding the straw with your teeth, draw it out.


The exercise is over.




(Images: Mika Elo)