Thursday, April 02, 2009
Our "mantises" have become our "mantis". We ran out of fruit flies the other day and the larger mantis took care of the hunger problem all by itself. It ate its sibling. I decided the mantis's exoskeleton is strong enough for it to be able to catch and eat some larger insects (obviously), so the kids now have the daily job of catching insects for the mantis. Mind you, last summer Abigail would scream hysterically and run pell-mell for the house, shaking and sobbing -- literally -- at even the mention of the possibility that there may be a bug nearby (her brother rather enjoyed that spectacle). This was horrifying to me, as insects don't bother me in the least (have you noticed?!), and I've always said that no daughter of mine is going to scream over a bug. (Actually, the terms "insect" and "bug" are not interchangeable, although they are commonly and errantly used that way; there are very few insects that are actually true bugs...but I digress.) Anyway, between my patient instruction, my enthusiasm to share the wonder of nature and all of its inhabitants (except snakes), her maturing, and our science-class study of insects at the beginning of this school year, Abigail has become a mostly-fearless bug-catching little girl. Yay, Abigail!Yesterday the kids -- and even Baker -- were trying their best to catch some flying insects for the mantis. The trick is that the insect has to be live -- a mantis will not eat a dead insect. David succeeded once he got the hang of it -- after quite a few squashed insects! -- and Abigail never did catch a live one, but she had a blast clapping and stomping quite a few. She's still girlie, though -- she kept ringing the doorbell and asking me to scrape the dead insect off her hand and throw it into the trash. I finally convinced her that it was okay to shake it off outside on the ground!