Friday, 21 January 2011

'He left me much too soon...'

Following on from yesterday's post (two posts! in 48 hours! this is like the glory days of 2008), it's possible that somewhere, stuck to a twig, fairly near ground level, there is a poster appealing for the safe return of one particular ladybird.

For its family, I have some difficult news:

This is a glass of water in my kitchen last night.

Initially, I had poured myself a glass of water to have with my tea. I know that this is the kind of detail about my intriguing yet mysterious domestic life that you clamour to hear. Ten minutes later, when I sat down to eat/drink, there was a ladybird floating in my glass, limbs flailing weakly.

I fished it out of the water with a teaspoon and a level of tenderness I don't usually reserve for insects. And I left it on the kitchen table to dry off and collect itself. But several hours later, when I was back in the kitchen tidying up, I went to empty a different glass that was half full of water and inside it was the ladybird. Not flailing. Not living. Dead, in fact.

I wasn't really sure how to deal with the fact that a ladybird had been so determined to end its life in my flat that it had made two attempts at drowning. And one of them had worked.

I was telling my work colleagues this story earlier and, just before Ms S slipped into a deep coma prompted by my lengthy insect-based anecdote, she told me that these ladybirds of many spots (as my dead one was) should not be nurtured as they are KILLING our indigenous lesser-spotted ladybirds. I can only assume that this one in particular was so overcome with remorse for the terrible things he had done, he had to take drastic action. Perhaps the sight of his own monstrous reflection in my chrome kettle, as he made his way across my kitchen worktop, was simply too much to bear. His moral burden was too heavy for his fragile set of wings.

Despite the fact that he was a murderous warmonger (do you notice that despite being a 'lady'bird, I have started calling it 'he'. Why is this?), I gave him a good burial beneath the mini-rose plant my friend Ms B gave me for my birthday.

I'm hoping it might start growing polka-dot flowers now.

And as a mark of respect, I played this for him. RIP you conflicted six-legged tragedy.


jaljen said...

Beware the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Anonymous said...

I found you on the diet starts tomorrow,this has made me and my daughter laugh. I didn't realise these were such beasts in the bug world.

legend in his own lunchtime said...

He/she was probably searching for a spot of Vodka to slake his or her blood lust, and made the mistake everyone does at times. With me however, it is usually the other way round, with disasterous consequences.

Alison Cross said...

Love it! Suicidal lady-birds!

Ali x

Victoria said...

Just got told off by husband for laughing too much in bed. Your warmongering ladybird stories are bad for my marriage.