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?
I’ve always known them as ladybugs and roly-polys. I have never heard of Jesus bugs or water skeeters. Not up on the insect lore, as I try to avoid them altogether. But I did grow up saying lightning bugs rather than fireflies.
2. Stomp on spiders, carry them outside, or peacefully co-exist?
Call Dear Husband and let him decide. I’m pretty much opposed to peaceful coexistence in my house, once they make themselves visible. There are two poisonous varieties – black widow and brown recluse – which I worry will make an appearance. I don’t care what ecological role those may be playing; they’re dead if I find them.
3. Favorite insect?
Butterfly, I think. Lovely creatures that don’t sting or crawl into your house looking for food or spread germs.
4. Least favorite?
Water bugs, those big fat cockroach like beasts that seem too large to squash. They win for grossness. But for pure annoyance, it’s hard to beat mosquitoes and fire ants. Right now fire ants are at the top of my list. They are trying to take over the yard, and we found out that Firecracker has a very bad reaction to bites—swelling and nasty blisters that take weeks (sometimes months) to go away.
5. Got any good bug stories to share?
Ah, yes. At one point in Manhattan I shared an apartment with a couple that was almost directly over a bakery. We loved that bakery. Kind of funky, close at hand. Well, it seems one day B. brought back a muffin from said bakery. He didn’t bite into it but instead broke it apart, at which point a roach crawled out. Eeewww. Never ate there again, needless to say.
Bonus question: share a poem, song, quotation, etc. about insects.
Ha – you wouldn’t expect anything upbeat from me, would you?
Fly on the Windscreen
By Depeche Mode
Death is everywhere
There are flies on the windscreen
For a start
We could be torn apart