A real, live mantis — on my frying pan
As you can guess by the subject line, I found a mantis on my frying pan. Fortunately, I noticed it BEFORE I poured on the oil. (I’m not a big fan of fried insect). It was pretending to be a stick insect pretending to be a stick. How freaking cool is that? Only when I looked closely at the stick could I see it was a stick insect. And then only when I prodded the insect did it turn into a mantis. (Click the photo for a close-up).
On another note: have you ever wondered if the birds are spying on you? Because the weaver birds in my backyard actually do spy on me if I don’t feed them as soon as I get up. They perch on the grills outside my living room windows and stare inside. Not creepy at all… Fortunately, Miss Knight is learning to communicate with birds to use them as spies for the good guys (book 3 — almost finished the draft now).
I promised to share some of the stories that you guys shared with me. So here’s a sample of other people’s animal tails… er, tales.
A SNAKE’S KISS
My husband, Nigel, and I live in Belize. Belize has many species of snakes. Of all of them, the fer-de-lance is a certain death. There is no anti-venom here, and that’s where the tale comes in!
My guest, Gary, came flying out of the guesthouse and into the main house at about 6am and tells me there is snake in a box in his bathroom. A ruckus woke him around 3am, and he followed the cat into the bathroom where all appeared quiet. So, out we went to the bathroom, me with a towel in hand, him with shaking hands, and he pointed out the box.
All was quiet. I gingerly lifted the lid….
“Oh”, I said, “it’s not very big, and it’s sleeping”. Since it looked like our common rat snake, I carefully, (and quietly) reached in, grabbed it by the neck, and proudly carried it indoors to show the hubby.
His first comment: “Holy Sh*t, Jen, that’s a fer-de-lance!”
So I turned the little fellow to me, and sure enough, there was that wedge-shaped nose and a perfect pattern. At first glance, they look like the local rattlesnake, but when this snake opened his mouth to hiss at me, there was no doubt who those 1inch fangs belonged to!
A wild bobcat chased my seventy-year-old, 110 pound Dad around a parked car, until my fleet-of-foot Dad hopped on top of the car roof. The bobcat eventually decided that Dad was more trouble than he was worth. Tired of waiting for his snack, the bobcat wandered away.
MAN’S BEST FRIEND
I was a telephone man for over 30 years in Northwest Indiana (loved the winters). Whenever a customer informed me that their “dog didn’t bite”, I showed them a five buckle rubber boot with teeth marks from “another dog that won’t bite!”
I live in an isolated place in the Ozark Mountains in the United States. I’ve had many run-ins with opossums coming onto the porch looking for food. They frequently eat my chicken food if there is any out.
Now, one of them has become very intelligent. One evening when I was about to let my dogs out, an opossum was sitting in front of the screen door. I pushed and he didn’t move. Not really wanting to injure him by shoving the door open and reluctant to turn the dogs on him, I pushed a piece of bread through the crack I had made in the door, hoping he’d take it and leave.
It worked; he waddled away with his prize. But it was a big mistake. Ever since, he is at the door every evening waiting for his piece of bread! I gave up and named the little bandit. Petie the ‘Possum is now just one of the gang!
Have an animal-friendly day!
Vered “Mantis Tamer” Ehsani