Lucanus elaphus

I found it floating in a bucket out back that had a couple of inches of water from the last storm. It was still squirming, trying to escape, doomed to drown. I pulled it out and took it to the Boy to show him. He put on gloves and was eager to hold it.

Lucanus elaphus

Fear of such animals I supposed is learned, or more importantly taught. Tell a kid constantly that such creatures are out to get him, and he’ll likely believe it. Tell a girl that the only good snake is a dead snake, and she’s likely to hold that opinion for decades. But kids are naturally curious — it’s what gets the hurt. With the Boy and the Girl, we’ve tried to strike a happy medium: such insects might, like roaches, carry certain bacteria on their bodies that are not particularly helpful, but in and of themselves, they’re harmless. Certain snakes are deadly, so we should never approach a snake and try to make a plaything out of it, but an enormous black snake slithering through the grass (as happened here five years ago) does much more good than harm.

Atypical Saturday (Lent 2012: Day 32)

With people, there’s the whole additional possibility of deceptiveness. If only it were so simple with humans.

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