A friend came to stay overnight, bringing with her an eight-year old son, two eight-week old kittens, an entire christmas tree, and loads and loads of leftover foods. What chaotic fun! For a surprise treat I took boy and mother to the bug zoo. Guess who had the most fun?
Male bugs, on the other hand, don’t seem to have a lot of joy. In one kind the female has sex with several males on the same day, stores all that semen, and spends the rest of her life laying fertilized eggs: no further intimacy required, thank you. Did you know that worker ants live only for 60 days and everything they do, absolutely everything is for the good of the colony? And that the lonely queen lays over 1000 eggs each and every day of her 15 years? And that when she dies the entire colony goes under? And that tarantulas are soft on the hand and aren’t interested in stinging you; because why would they, you’re too large to be prey.
And that the grub of certain worms (forget which) lie underground for two years, getting fat (full of protein–no wonder they’re good survival food) only to come out transformed to live for just a few months? And that leaf bugs are successful camouflagers; during the day they play dead like a stick and, when frightened, sway like a dry leaf in the breeze. Ants are a great threat to their eggs and that’s why they look like tiny ants. Clever sticks! And I thought I knew a thing or two.
I hope you’ll step out of your shell sometime soon, look around and do something beyond the familiar. Be a child (or borrow your neighbours’ to show you). Open your eyes to the wonders that are there all the time. Breathe. Poke. Touch. Taste. Turn left when usually you’d go right. See!