The call — calm, not frantic — came from the main bathroom the other morning as we were getting ready for work. It will possibly prove to be the first of many.
“Can you come and get this cricket ? I have it under the cup. Or if you want, I can just kill it.”
The season of the bugs is upon us. Thus, the reason for the conversation with the beautiful blonde who had trapped the alleged cricket.
Deserting, momentarily, my task of filling the coffee pot, I rushed to the bathroom to save the alleged cricket. Upon its release to the porch, however, I found that this charlatan insect that it was, was merely a moth masquerading as a cricket in order to save its wing-bound life.
You see, there are good bugs and there are bad bugs. There are also neutral bugs, such as the moth. Primarily, though, bugs are either good or bad.
Crickets are high on the list of good bugs that sometimes wander into our homes. Sentimental thoughts of Walt Disney’s Jiminy Cricket aside, we must consider that the Oriental view of crickets included aspects of good luck and future prosperity, which may have prompted the practice of keeping these songsters as pets.
Ergo, the rush to save the life of a potential cricket.
Other good bugs include spiders, under certain conditions (due to Native American influences) butterflies, for obvious reasons, and praying mantises and dragonflies, not only because they are exciting to watch but because they eat bad bugs. The list would not be complete, in the eyes of small children, without the premier good bug, ladybugs.
Grasshoppers are an example of a neutral bug that ought not to be killed needlessly, primarily because they are more useful alive and placed in a bait jar; each grasshopper killed for no reason is one less grasshopper that will catch a fish.
The bad bug list might easily be topped by mosquitos, all members of the fly clan, and the more disgusting members of the beetle family.
Example: We will soon find ourselves invaded by June bugs. Too worthless to even think about are such bugs as roaches, silverfish and other that carry a stigma everywhere they go.
Now, it is time for a disclaimer. I know that each critter has its place. I have taken enough ecology classes, Project Wild training, and so on to know that there is no such thing as a bad bug (or snake, or bird, etc.) I know that every bug has its function.
Still, I can’t help but think that the only function of mosquitos is to provide supper for dragonflies, and that the best thing you can do with a Japanese beetle is to feed it to a praying mantis.
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and a college instructor. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org