Insects as Friends and Food

Yesterday a very green 6 legged one presented himself to me on my desk.

I was delighted! So delighted, in fact, that I photographed him, admiring his exquisite lines and colors and beauty. I looked him up in my Insect field guides, the closest match being a juvenile katydid. However he didn’t exactly match the images for Katydids, who have an elongated thorax and wings. Perhaps any Entomologists reading will comment on this.

After admiring, oooing and ahing over him (or her), following the explosions into space which he navigated when I got too close, I was amazed at the way he would use his back legs to condense his whole body into a coil spring,

and then be flying through the air to land on yet another surface where I could study the green harmonic lines of his body again.

Then, in the midst crawling around on the floor after him, I was struck with the thought – wow ! My girls (chickens) would love this tender morsel! Now, before anyone is too horrified, I want to state why I firmly believe in the predator – prey relationship. Our natural world revolves around it. In fact, insects are the foundation and the basis of what physically nourishes the rest of us. If we want to take it further, plants nourish those who nourish us, and microbrial activity nourishes all of us. Every time we breathe we are breathing in thousands of microorganisms that are either essential to life, intruders or perhaps neutral, and then our immune system is immediately wiping out a great deal of these. Eating other beings is just part of breathing no matter what species you are. I think of “Horton Hears a Who” everytime I try to picture the order of size and relative importance, although of course there is so much more to it than that. The difference I strive for is appreciation, respect and honoring the life I participate in consuming or helping others consume, in the case of an animal in my care.

First, I gathered him up very gently and carried him in loose hands outside. I told him how much I appreciated this opportunity to give my hens, who at this time are giving me daily nourishing fantastic delicious eggs, a special treat. I asked if this was okay with him. I felt the answer was that letting them eat him is in harmony with what could happen, would happen sooner or later in the world. He is seen as a tasty morsel to many. I was respecting his comfort and life. I walked to the fence where the hens set in the afternoon sun, and placed him carefully on it. I gave him an opportunity to jump away before I let them know he was there. He didn’t. Soon, one of the hens waddled over and gobbled him up.

I thought about him all day. What a fascinating face! What a vibrant color! What a lucky hen to catch him! And most of all, how great that I got to see such a beautiful representation of the insect world up close and personal.

I’m still thinking about him today.

6 thoughts on “Insects as Friends and Food

  1. Kathryn

    What a beautiful verdent specimen of life. Now I must confess that as soon as it jumped I would have gasped and retreated. I have been known to befriend an insect here and there, but leaping ones, not so much. What a loving Mother you are to your hens, of course now they will look for “formal” english tea every afternoon…….. My entomologist husband just came in so I had him look at your pictures,” yep”, he said, “one of the varities of katydids”……and off he went to change!!! Speaking of feeding loved ones, he just came home with a Wegman’s dinner AND the latest “Writers’ Journal” , hmm food for my body and mind, sigh!

    1. Grin~! Yes, my hens do get special care, and I’m delighted to be able to give it to them. It somehow nourishes me to nourish them.
      How serendipitous that you happen to be married to an Entomologist and my question is answered, just like that!
      Ask, and ye shall receive.
      It is wonderful to be fed and nourished by a loved one.
      Soak it in Kathryn! Lucky you!

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