Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Five: A Bug's Life

Sophia says:
As I was walking the beach today, I was surprised and delighted to find it swarming with ladybugs. The sweet little red beetles are one of my favorite insects and also my daughter's blogname--though as of this morning she was thinking of changing it to Butterfly. I'll keep you posted.
This got me thinking about spiritual insect trivia: Did you know that medieval mystics and theologians esteemed the bee for its dedicated work and transformation of ordinary ingredients into sweetness? That Spider Woman is an important creator Goddess to many Native American tribes? Or that Francis of Assisi was reminded of Jesus not only by lambs being led to slaughter, but also by worms (think "I am a worm and no man" from the Psalms)-- so he picked them up and took them out of stomping-vulnerable spots?!
In that spirit, this week's Friday Five is a magical mystery tour through God's garden of creepy crawlies!
1. Ladybugs or ladybirds? Pillbugs or roly-polys? Jesus bugs or water skeeters? Any other interesting regional or familial name variations?
Ladybugs, roly-polys, and water skeeters. I probably would have been scolded if I had called them Jesus bugs. Can't think of any variations...
2. Stomp on spiders, carry them outside, or peacefully co-exist?
Either stomp, or peacefully co-exist, depending on my mood. An exterminator once told me that the chemicals required to kill spiders are so toxic that you really don't want them around the home--plus, after all, spiders do eat other bugs. I've never seen a black widow or brown recluse at my house, so I tend to leave the spiders alone.
3. Favorite insect?
Butterflies, I suppose.
4. Least favorite?
Roaches and silverfish!!
5. Got any good bug stories to share?
When my friend Joy and I were children, we often passed part of a summer day by staging roly-poly races on my back steps. Champion racers would race again and again, as long as they didn't roll up into a ball to escape!
Sophia's account of the ladybugs on the beach reminds me that one of my pleasant memories of California is of hiking in the mountains with friends and coming upon a fallen tree, covered with ladybugs. That was the only time I've ever seen such a thing.
Bonus question: share a poem, song, quotation, etc. about insects.
When I was a child I had the odd little book pictured above, by Edward Gorey (creator of the cheerfully macabre intro to PBS's Mystery!, among lots of other cheerfully macabre works). The Bug Book is a simple story of a group of bugs whose peaceful existence is threatened by the appearance of a large bully bug. They confer, drop a big rock on him, and celebrate his demise with a party. That's it. Pretty strange. What's even stranger is that the first edition of that book goes for about $885 now!


Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I would love to see landybugs like that!

Barbara B. said...

The Edward Gorey book sounds really interesting! :)

(And I agree with you on the roaches and silverfish!)

Sophia said...

Too bad you didn't save your Gorey book.

Jan said...

The Bug Book looks very interesting. I love those old books.

1-4 Grace said...

The Bug Book sounds way cool. I bet it is some deep hidden meaning!

revkjarla said...

silverfish. reminding me of those gave me a BIG SHUDDER.
they are southern, too, aren't they?

MaineCelt said...

Hurrah for Gorey. I know he's creepy, but I really like his work.

Stratoz said...

worse bug story--- at an outdoors concert a Japanese beetle got stuck inside my wife's ear. it was not a good time for her at all, or the bug for that matter.

SingingOwl said...

We used to race roly poly bugs too! I'd forgotten (how could I?) will I read your post. LOL

Anonymous said...

I hate roaches, too...grew up with the big, flying ones!