Other Wind
21 / January21 / January21 / January

Ladybug Rites

I looked down at the shower floor to find yet another ladybug this morning. Our house is a ladybug and box elder beetle refuge in the winter, and lately, I’ve felt the need to shut our gates (i.e. reseal our 70 year old windows). These bugs don’t seem dirty to me, not like roaches, but they are nonetheless intruders. I try to ignore them most of the time, but in my mind I confront them: “Hey, that’s my lamp shade you’ve commandeered as a nightclub! That’s my hardwood floor you’ve made an insect thoroughfare!”

In the shower this morning my mindset changed a bit. I watched the ladybug struggle in the shallow water gathering on the tub floor. (Well, it was probably chin-deep to her. I’ve come to think of her as female, maybe because she’s a ladybug.) She pulled herself out of the growing flood and onto the bathtub wall. She climbed to a mighty height—almost to the top of the tub—but then slipped back into danger. I had finished bathing by that time, though, so I turned the water off. She didn’t move. I looked closer and saw that she was on her back, struggling to flip herself over. I helped her. Now, this is an incredibly David thing of me to do. I don’t like killing insects, but I haven’t really loved touching them since I was a small child. David doesn’t even consider killing them. He usually picks them up and moves them outside to reclaim their woodsy homeland.

This morning, after helping the ladybug right herself, I had a thought. What if our shower is a rite of passage for the ladybug and box elder beetle societies that have come to call our cottage home—one which aspiring members or leaders have to cross to gain entrance? It certainly seems like a dangerous feat to me (well, if I were insect size), and they attempt it often. (Some of them even cheat by crossing when the river is dry and no giant feet are there to slush and pound all around them.)

What’s become of me? Aiding a trespasser in my own home! Sympathizing with the cause of a foreign threat!

I’m just a liberal softy, I suppose.

They just like you!

Posted by: David on January 21, 2003 11:27 AM