When I was three, I was fascinated
with what we called roly polies. Some people call them pill bugs, but they’re
actual name is woodlouse. Not really insects, but crustaceans, these harmless
little creatures roll up into a ball when threatened. I loved riding on merry
go rounds, so I thought, why wouldn’t my little friends? I carefully placed three roly
polies on my record turntable, and turned it on.
Whizzzzzz. Those poor little things went whizzing across the room. You can bet they rolled up into balls after that.
My favorite place to live as a kid was beside a lake. A little creek pushed its way up alongside our backyard. I loved ladybugs, and they were everywhere. One day when I was about five or six, I gathered what must have been dozens of ladybugs into a jar. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, but I took the jar to my bedroom to watch the brightly colored little ladybugs do their thing. I put the jar down on my bed and after a few minutes I noticed a ladybug flitting past me. Then two. Then three. Then dozens. The lid from the jar had come loose and the Great Ladybug Escape had begun. I ran around frantically trying to recapture all of them before my mother walked in. Days after I emptied the jar back onto the willow trees by our creek; I still found the odd ladybug or two flying cheerfully around my room.
In the evenings by that same lake, the
neighborhood kids would play outside as darkness fell, watching the scores of
lightning bugs who twinkled by the water. We would make lanterns by
intercepting lightning bugs and dropping them in our jars. I couldn’t bear to
keep them captive, though, so I would hold my jar up high and watch each
lightning bug wend its way to the lip of the jar, then fly into the summer sky like
a star. Magical.
Are you squeamish around bugs?
Unsplash: Izzy Park "A Girl Holding a Roly-poly on Her Hand"
Pexels: "Vinyl Record Playing"
Pexels: Susanne Jutzeler, sukiyaki-foto "Close-Up Photo of Ladybug on Camomile Flower"
Pixabay: Willgard "Lightning Bugs"