Do You Know Praying Mantis?

You’re lookin’ at him
I hadn’t seen one in over nineteen years and this one peered up as if to say, “Hey, I remember you.”

You’re lookin’ at him

I hadn’t seen one in over nineteen years. This one peered up at me as if to say, “Hey, I remember you.” Or perhaps, “Hey, move it Bud, this is my turf.” Whatever it was, the eerie way in which he turned his head gave me cause to stop for a moment.

This is probably only the third time I’ve been this close to a Praying Mantis. Once, when I was a little kid, one of them somehow managed its way into our cupboard. That was when I first heard that it was illegal to kill a Praying Manits. Even then I wondered why and how could such a law be upheld.

My next sighting was about nineteen years ago. At the time, I was working as a mattress salesman in Fairfield, NJ (I know cool, right?) when one perched on the glass storefront window.

There he remained seemingly transfixed on our new collection of brass daybeds with extra thick mattresses and solid steel frames. He was in his monk-like pose all day until the sun set,. Then he was gone.

Today I spotted this friend on my way to the laundromat. What struck me as odd right away was that I even saw it and immediately knew what it was. It could have been a blade of grass or a leave for all my nearsightedness could decipher. It could have been easily crushed in the treads of my sneakers.

Instead, I quietly put down my bags of laundry and my detergent. I grabbed my little camera and it turned to look at me. It was pretty cool. I tried to get him to move because he was sitting right in the center of the stairs that lead into my apartment. I didn’t want anyone to kill it and go to jail.

By the way, I found out that it is not and never has been illegal to kill a Praying Mantis. But they look so peaceful and holy, killing them should be illegal. Besides, they eat other more pesky pests. So leave them be. Sit nearby and look at one if you can. It is a very relaxing experience.


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