I don’t know exactly what all kinds of plants ladybugs are attracted to, but my neighbor has one of them. Oodles and oodles of ladybugs sit perched on the long leaves next to our driveway, lazing about in this most glorious stretch of summer weather.
One afternoon G and Little Missy took Baby Chickadee “ladybug hunting.” They squatted with her in our driveway and pointed out the ladybugs to their little sister that were too obvious to miss. Their sweetness made my heart hurt.
Fresh from the instruction of her brother and sister, Baby Chickadee grabbed my forefinger and pulled me from the porch so that she might show to me the ladybugs brother and sister had shown to her. As we squatted next to the long leaves I ooh-ed and aah-ed appropriately and then kissed her fat cheeks.
A couple of days later G and Little Missy were at Neighbor Boy’s house when Baby Chickadee and I were alone in the front yard. As I closed the gate after retrieving her tricycle a ladybug fluttered to the ground in front of Baby Chickadee’s eyes. She pulled my hand so that I’d be close to the ground with her and she pointed out the ladybug to me. “I be nice to it.” Which is Baby Chickadee speak for “I want to touch it.”
So I gently picked up the ladybug and showed it to Baby Chickadee; Baby Chickadee gently touched the ladybug’s wings; the ladybug jumped to the ground in surprise. Baby Chickadee giggled and then I picked up the ladybug and placed it on Baby Chickadee’s hand. She wrinkled her nose and grinned as the ladybug crawled around her pudgy toddler hand. Then I took it from her and placed the polka-dotted bug on the ground.
I’d no sooner sat on the wicker rocking chair on our porch to finish my afternoon coffee before Baby Chickadee pointed to a spot on the driveway while saying, “Ees okay. Der it is.”
“Oh, the ladybug?” I asked.
“Yes, ees okay. It dead,” she said as she nodded her head.
“It’s dead? Oh no! How’d that happen?”
“I hit wif big stick.” And then she picked up the big stick again and whacked the ladybug with it a couple of more times.
I am not sure what her flagrant disrespect for the teeny winged-one’s life means, but I’m choosing to believe it means nothing. I just now know that we need to talk a little bit more about how to be nice and gentle with bugs.