I’m sort of hoping that my wife will miss this blog entry, because I’m sure she won’t be excited to have me sharing a photograph of a bug in our bathroom on the internet- and also because the story which accompanies it is going to make me sound like a weirdo. Then again, so what else is new/
So yesterday morning I was getting ready for church, but Kathy was still in bed, trying to catch a few more winks after the huge day we had had with Jackson’s party. So I’m walking around the upstairs shaving with my electric razor (I can’t bear to just stand and look at myself in the mirror while I shave – I have to walk around – which would probably explain why I do such a crummy job of shaving myself). And it’s while on my little morning stroll that I came across this startling sight in our guest bathroom . . . so startling that at first I thought I was imaging things. But no, it was a hefty- sized June Bug on the counter of our guest bathroom.
99 times out of 100, I would have taken a shoe or crow bar or any such object within immediate reach and ended the thing’s life right then and there, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200. I typically have no hesitation about that.
But this time, I did indeed hesitate- because this June Bug was on its back and struggling mightily to right itself. Its six legs were flailing in constant motion – and in different directions – in a desperate bid to flip itself over. But it couldn’t quite do it. . . and I believe, upon closer examination, that it was because one of its legs seemed to be markedly shorter than the others, as if it had been injured. And that one gimpy leg seemed to be just enough to prevent it from gaining the leverage it needed to escape its predicament. And I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there was something about what that June Bug looked like in that struggle that made it seem a lot more like me (and all of us) than insects usually do. It looked a little like that old lady in the commercial that yelled plaintively “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” or a little kid bundled up in an over-sized snow suit who tumbles in the snow and quite get themselves up again. Except that it was an insect about 2/3’s the size of my thumb – and the kind of insect which, when it’s crawling over screens on a summer day, makes me want to grab a shotgun. But not this one. I looked at this June Bug and found myself feeling genuine sympathy for it (had it been there, struggling like this, all night long?) to the extent that I finally went and got a bit of stiff card board – cajoled the June Bug onto the card – and from there, deposited it into the first container I could find . . . a hand-painted tin cup from Prague . . . so I could carry it outside. Actually, as I was first slipping the card underneath it, something went wrong and before I knew it the June Bug was flipped in the air (sort of like a burger) and in an instant was on the floor, not moving. I hovered over it with genuine remorse, that my carelessness turned a well-meaning rescue mission into a case of Reckless Homicide. But then, after a few seconds, the thing started to stir, and by the time I was able to get it into my tin cup, it seemed to be back to normal and seeming to be none the worse for where. At that point, I headed downstairs and out the patio door, carrying this June Bug in my tin cup with great gentleness. . . and then deposited it in the most hospitable patch of our backyard I could find.
All this for a June Bug? If this had been a centipede (perish the thought) I would have instantly squashed it and then danced with glee around its flattened corpse. Same thing for a spider. And if this June Bug had been right-side-up and ambulatory, it would have felt my wrath. But instead, I learned that one can have feelings for a June Bug – at least if that June Bug is having a terribly hard time of it, like this one was.