We were excited to be asked to care for the praying mantis raised by the Little Sprouts gardening class after classes ended last month. It felt good to be recognized as the most bug-loving family in gardening class.
Getting to take the mantis home was like getting to take the classroom guinea pig home over Christmas vacation. Except that guinea pigs don't eat live insects or shed their skin.
Now, in addition to practicing the piano and doing his homework, C has to forage around outside everyday after school scouting out meals for the mantis.
Yesterday he yelled excitedly from the front yard,
"I found a spotted salamander!"
And I countered with,
"the praying mantis can't eat that!"
The only problem is that as we are a bug-loving family, I can only feed bugs I don't like to the mantis and not surprisingly, there just aren't that many bugs, that I can easily find that I don't like.
I don't like houseflies. I don't like ticks. I don't like mosquitoes, or fruit flies, or pantry moths, or aphids, or striped cucumber beetles, or lily beetles, or those beetles that look like lady bugs but really aren't. I especially don't like earwigs.
Around my own house and yard though it's becoming hard to find these bugs. Mosquitoes I can find but they are had to catch and if you screw up dropping it into the mantis's jar, then you've got an escaped mosquito in the house.
We've got plenty of pill bugs but I feel guilty about feeding them to the mantis, ditto for the cricket that we caught yesterday.
I even felt guilty about the big juicy ant I dropped in the other day.
I felt even worse when it got caught in a spider web that was in the jar.
song: I Say A Little Prayer • artist: Aretha Franklin