Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



I was catching up on some blog reading while waiting for an email and I read Cat’s entertaining story .

Now, being rather fond of frogs myself and having bawled my eyes out when a rainstorm washed oily water into my collection 0f 52 baby frogs, I certainly understood her brother’s passion.

In fact, I thought it topped my “mantis madness.” But Cat wants to hear about that, so…

Regular readers know I have “a thing” for wildlife. Saturday night rave-ups? Not so much… But creepy, crawly, slithery things, oh yes!

I think my mother was reasonably tolerant of my “collections” that littered the porch table, her sewing machine cabinet, various bookcases  and sometimes the shoe closet. I always had some critter that I was studying.

I also think that she was ignorant of the facts on mantis reproduction.          

Come to that, so was Little Miss Nine Year Old! I had collected 54 egg sacs (they looked like miniature zippers!) and kept them on a tray in my bedroom which, during some renovations I shared with my brother, then a few months old. He held nowhere   near the same fascination for me.

Every lunchtime, I’d race in from school and check the eggs. I desparately wanted to see them hatch and I used up a lot of fairy wishes that “this will be The Day. ” And every lunchtime, there would be 54 eggs, still zipped tight. Disappointment!

Until…one day. The tray with its load of precious little zippers was gone!

“Maaaarm! Where are my praying mantises?” And my less-than-pleased mother pointed through the window to the tray, upside down and halfway across the lawn. Turned out the eggs had all hatched while my brother was having his morning nap and when Mother checked on him, he was covered in wriggling, green, cannibalistic insects. 

I still think it was unfair of her to “remove” them like that…



Well, that email I was waiting for means that I have to head in to town. On a Saturday. Urghh! Just hope the Saab Team is not on the highway!



Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!


  1. Just relayed this story to K, resident bug-o-phile and mantis hatcher. Eyes nearly popped out and jaw hiut the table. She was solely concerned for the mantids.


  2. ryan…please thank K. for her concern. For this trangression, I was ready to run away from home. But the bugs prevailed. In the end. 🙂


  3. i’m still laughing. i don’t know why your mom had such a problem! mantises are sooooo cute. and the babies are cuter than that.

    i hope no one was traumatized. LOL.


  4. In a previous life I was a pre-school teacher and always had lots of wildlife in my room. A mantis case hatched and we spent many happy hours collecting them from around the playroom and getting them out into the garden. My group of two year olds were just stoked to have such excitement happening in their room.


  5. cat…I suppose it was a shock to a mother to find her baby with dozens (or more!) of tiny green things crawling in his ears, up his nose, all over his blanket… a few years later, brother’s rabbit chewed her best rug. The slate was clean.

    carol…we had wonderful “nature tables” at school, didn’t we? It’s now not politically correct to have some of that stuff. 😦


  6. That brought a big smile. We would’ve been partners in crime as kids. Even now I’m the one who’s called to remove the spiders — in a house full of men!


  7. andrea…yes, we most certainly would have been a formidable team.
    (And I have to “deal with” cockroaches in this house!)


  8. I loved that story. Sorry to say my affection for bugs was limited to frying ants with a magnifying glass on the sidewalk. Although my brother is a science teacher (and hobby entomologist) and had a pet African centipede named Craig. I liked him (because he was hibernating and motionless when I saw him). Praying mantises are fascinating but all that cannibalism? icky.


  9. I’m with the mother, you horrible little tyke!


  10. “A centipede called Craig…” You just made me splutter coffee! Wow! You must have had a powerful lens!


  11. ziggi…I wasn’t. Not really.( I didn’t mean to put the kitten in the molasses.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s