For All Creatures, Great and Small

For All Creatures, Great and Small October 15, 2011

Howdy fellah!

This is Reason #374 why I don’t live in “the big city.” I rumbled up the driveway in the Mustang, and as I lined her up to back into the garage, I spied “Mikey” in all his camouflaged glory crawling up the side of the other car. Sounds like a lead-in for an article in Big Backyard magazine, doesn’t it?

I did a little digging on the web, and learned that there are over 2100 species of mantodea, from, get this, 15 different families of them around the world. Who knew? *God knew.* And where did they get their name? Here’s what the Online Etymology Dictionary reports,

1650s, “type of insect that holds its forelegs in a praying position” (especially the praying mantis, Mantis religiosa), from Gk. mantis, lit. “one who divines, a seer, prophet,” from mainesthai “be inspired,” related to menos “passion, spirit” (see mania). The insect so called for its way of holding the forelimbs as if in prayer. Also used in Greek for some sort of grasshopper (Theocritus).

How about them apples? I figure he’s a male because he is so small. I named him Mikey because it goes well with “mantis,” and I was amazed looking at him, and his wonderful colors. It looks like he’s wearing “desert cammies” to me. As I was studying him intently, an odd thought popped into my head. “I wonder what St. Francis would say about you Mikey?” In his poem (prayer?) Canticle of the Sun he writes,

All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made.

Perhaps he might have prayed the following about this praying mantis,

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Mantis,

Through whom you protect our crops from pests.



How mysterious he is, how devout, with angelic wings from on high.

That’s what popped into my head, anyway. And then I ran inside the house (to grab the camera) yelling,

“The coolest praying mantis ever is crawling on my car! Come and see!”

My name is “Mikey”

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