R.I.P., strange insect

Yes, another bug story.

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The girls and I found this one in the backyard yesterday when they were going out to play. Those squares on the mat are about 1 cm each, so it’s about 6 cm long, including the legs, and looks a lot like a maple tree seed (whirlybird) or a piece of mulch. I think it’s some kind of a grasshopper or katydid, but I couldn’t find anything exactly like it with a quick Google. It wasn’t moving very much–it was a cool afternoon (around 70) and it was in the shade.

The girls didn’t want to go anywhere near it, and neither did I. But Ellie and Micah decided to go out and play anyway, just staying away from it. Bethany eventually got brave and joined them. A few minutes later, she yelled to me through the open window, “Mom, can we kill it?” My immediate answer was, “NO! Don’t kill it!” Not five seconds later, Bethany starts screaming, “She killed it, she killed it!” It took me a few minutes to get things sorted out, but as far as I can figure, Micah squished it with a big fat piece of sidewalk chalk. I’m not sure if she walked up and did it by hand, or just had a lucky toss. Either way, there was the poor bug, not moving, with a piece of chalk on its legs. I figured it was a goner and decided to leave it for “Daddy” to investigate/deal with.

When I saw it a couple of hours later, the words of Monty Python came to me: “I’m not dead yet!” Well, by that time it was, but the chalk had not dealt the final blow. No, that came later, when it tried to crawl away from the piece of chalk that was pinning its rear legs to the mat. Uh… let’s just say the chalk won that tug-o’-war. Ick.