Sunday, February 26, 2012

See Your World

Walking home one late afternoon last fall, my husband spied the creature pictured above on the sidewalk. The praying mantis would have been easy to miss, for s/he blended well with the surrounding detritus. My husband scooped her up in a nearby cup.

By the time they reached our living room, the mantis had consumed the beads of Coca-Cola that had clung to the cup’s interior. The mantis seemed cramped in the cup, so I encouraged a move to the backyard with our guest.

My husband sat on the ground and invited the mantis out of the cup. While my husband morphed into the mantis’s playlot—allowing her/him to explore his arms, his shoulders—I ran back into the apartment for some nourishment for the insect.

I sliced open a pawpaw and took it to our guest. Before I could deposit the fruit on a leaf, though, the mantis grabbed the knife I held. Forcibly pulled the knife toward him/her.

My heart stopped. I was sure the blade had injured him/her.

But s/he was fine.

Though the mantis didn’t eat much, s/he certainly savored it for a long while, licking every last little bit off her/his legs.

We continued watching our guest, likely to our guest’s annoyance. It was a delightful way to spend an evening—better than any other way we might have chosen to fritter away our time.

As the sun gave way to a night sky, we chose a tree the creature could seek sanctuary in and bid our praying mantis goodnight.

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”
—Henry Miller

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