Our nature table seems to perpetually have some kind of creature taking up room here. We have jars with caterpillars, bug homes with lizards and some with "big red bugs"...of whom I am still unsure of what they are specifically...though they breed millions in our backyard.We have a general guideline that we only keep things captive for a short while so that we can observe them and learn from them...and then we politely let them free. I would rather just look closely at them in their natural habitat...but this child is a hands on learner. Very much so.Each morning, while visiting the garden, we usually come across something of interest. Last week, it was this praying mantis. It captured his heart right away.
Soon my little biology lover was bringing his new friend breakfast, lunch and dinner...knowing from his books that these insects are of the meat-eating variety. His fascination was hooked and he would stare in wonder at the trapping and digesting.
It was all too much for this mama who tries her very best (but ultimately fails) to live out and instill in her children a mantra of "cause no harm".
I know it is the great cycle of life, the web of living. I know it happens all around us. And, I am totally ok with a praying mantis ripping off the head of her cricket lunch one biteful at a time. Just do it outside...ok?
Needless to say, I was ready for this observation/learning period to be over with. And I will also admit that I gently nudged the end along...and encouraged interaction of a less aggressive form.
Birds flood our yard in the morning.
Lizards run across our fences.
Our outdoor compost pile is hosting many an organism.
Bugs love our weeds.
Our sweet dog Forrest still loves us as much as we him.
We are keeping catfish in a tank inside (have I mentioned this yet?).
Life is all around us.
So it was no surprise to me that this little guy found us the other night.
He was being given away. If he didn't find a home that evening, he was going to be headed to the animal shelter the next day.
Asher gave his heart away as soon as he saw him. He has been asking for a cat for months but I really didn't expect to get one.
He needed us.
On the way home, Asher told me that he didn't need a "grumpy" praying mantis anymore. He just wanted this cat.
So...this is Maxwell.
We are learning and loving (a little too much) and trying to give him peace.
He is making us very happy.
Especially Josh, who upon hearing that I was bringing home a kitten said..."You're KILLIN' me!".
He is now a huge fan.