photo by Sheri Dixon

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

He Started It...Part Two

When we went into the barn this morning, we were greeted with a pitiful sight.

Lying in the middle of the floor, upside down, little boxing gloves in the air, was the dead mantis. It looked...odd and dry, but it's, yanno...a bug.

Gomez picked it up and tossed it outside.

The end.

At work, one of my co-workers posted a photo of many mantids on a hand on my Facebook and said, "His friends are gathering and coming to get you." Another co-worker saw the photo (the one who had fed my farm Monday morning, it so happened) looked aghast and said, "Oh, fuck no. Let me tell you what happened to me at Sheri's place!"

I was not Rabid Mantid's first victim.

She had been feeding the guinea pigs and had gotten to the same spot I'd been attacked, except she had seen no mantis. Suddenly, he appeared ON THE FRONT OF HER GLASSES, his tiny but fierce front feet waving menacingly. She flung her glasses off, rendering her pretty much blind, so she couldn't see if the mantis had gone with them. Cussing up a storm, she frantically pulled at her hair to be sure he wasn't lodged there.

She didn't see him again, but finished up the chores with alacrity.

So he was a repeat offender as far as aggressive behavior. I was happy he was dead.

Tonight, I was feeding the guinea pigs and got to...that same spot in the barn. I looked down and THERE WAS THE MANTIS PERCHED ON THE TOP OF THE CAGE, WAVING HIS TINY BUT FIERCE FRONT FEET AT ME.

What the hell?

In a flash, it all became clear. He'd spent all night constructing the faux mantis corpse out of stray bits of bedding and hay to lull me into a false sense of security.

Luckily, Gomez came into the barn just then, saw me frozen in terror, followed my horrified gaze, and was able to snatch the little asshole up while it was plotting my imminent demise.

I'd like to say he killed it, but his default is to catch and release, so out the door he tossed it.

If you don't hear from me again, you will know.

The mantis prevailed.

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