03 October 2011

The George Saga

Remember George from last fall? He was our pet praying mantis. (Only, it turned out that he was really a she all along. The odd thing was that Eric knew it from the beginning but just referred to her as a male, so I assumed that she was a male. Then I was quite baffled when she began laying her eggs.)

This year Eric caught a new George. He wasn't as big as the one from last year, and we were pretty sure he was a boy. We had a hard time finding a suitable home for George, but eventually we found a decent vase at a thrift store. We put a piece of cardboard over the top as a lid, and then Eric put a little bottle of Ike's vitamins on top. I, of course, did not realize that the vitamins were there to weigh down the flimsy cardboard lid, and, silly me, I removed the bottle of vitamins at some point when I was giving the vitamins to the baby.Then, the other day I noticed that George was gone. I assumed Eric had let him go that morning. I instant messaged Eric and asked him why he let George go. He said that he didn't let George go and that he must have escaped. Ugh.

That evening Eric found George within about five minutes of coming home from work. He was about eight inches from his vase. It was a huge relief. We found a different object to set atop the cardboard lid. It wasn't particularly heavy, but it was heavy enough. It was the lid to one of Ike's bottles.

Yesterday we were visiting Eric's folks, and Eric's dad found a huge grasshopper in the yard. Eric put the grasshopper in a bag so we could take it home and feed it to George. In the morning I noticed that George hadn't eaten the grasshopper. I assumed it was because the grasshopper was too big. Then I assumed that when Eric got home he would release the grasshopper into the yard, or we could take it to our neighbors across the street who, after seeing George, adopted their own very large praying mantis that they named Bernice.

Later in the afternoon I came into the kitchen to find that George was resting ON TOP of his lid, which was quite askew on the rim of the vase. I thought about putting George back in his vase, but I'm actually pretty freaked out by George. Then I looked around and found the large grasshopper hanging out on my living room floor. I gave him the stinkeye and then took Ike outside to hang out in the front yard with me.

Eric came home from work later than usual. He put George back in his place (this time with no grasshopper to do the heavy lifting of the lid). Then we proceeded to find the grasshopper. He was not where I last saw him, but I spotted him pretty quickly. Eric performed some deftly maneuvers, and we headed across the street to offer the grasshopper as a gift to Bernice.

Only, when we got to the neighbors' house, the neighbor informed us that Bernice had eaten two praying mantises in the last few days and was acting pretty lethargic. Our neighbor had gotten worried that Bernice wasn't doing so well in captivity, so he let her go. He took us to the place in the yard where he'd released her, and we found her diligently working to lay her eggs. Eric then released (and stomped on) the grasshopper.

Yes, there is more to the story.

As we were headed back into our house, I saw another praying mantis. This one was significantly bigger than George. So Eric caught him. I asked him if we would let the Old George go, and Eric said that we would feed the Old George to the New George. And that's what we did. And then we ate dinner.

I never thought I could possibly have so much to say about pet praying mantises.Link

1 comment:

Michelle said...

You fed old George to new George? Where is your loyalty!?! I'm disgusted and slightly depressed. I think I might need to go watch some "Guy On a Buffalo" videos on youtube to cheer me up.