The Beetle Keeper

Lilia volunteered to take care of the class stag beetle during the first few weeks of summer vacation.  She was supposed to feed it, and moisten the soil with water from time to time.  I suppose we were supposed to change the soil, but no one said anything about that, and I didn’t get around to buying any.

Lilia was quite enthusiastic for the first few days, remembering to feed it the smelly jelly even when I forgot.  But then, it crawled out of the plastic box once and she was freaked out and said she wanted to give it to her grandmother.  Since then, she has fallen in love with the kindergarten’s hamsters, and has decided that she wants one of those. 

I’ve been feeding the beetle and sprinkling water on the soil.  Up until last night, I heard it scrabbling around.  But this morning, when I checked on it, the jelly was uneaten and the beetle was belly up in the box.  Nothing happened when I tapped the box.  I was pretty sure it was dead.

Lilia is supposed to take it back to school tomorrow for the hand-off to her classmate.  I figure’d they’d be having a beetle burial instead.  But we went out for awhile, and when we came back, the beetle had moved!  Whew!  I reached in and turned it over so it could burrow into the dirt.


3 thoughts on “The Beetle Keeper

  1. You know, I am so glad you blogged about this. Because the day after I read it, my youngest took out her female kabutomushi and mercilessly played with it for . . . toooooooo long. Then it appeared to die. I remembered your blog entry though and held back the girls from going into full blown “it’s dead! You killed it! You murderer!” etc., most likely followed with weeping and tearing of hair. I said, “hmmmmm. She appears to be veeeeerrrrrryyyy tired. Too tired to move. Let’s leave her be in her nice cage with her nice dirt and sticks and check on her in the morning. In the morning DD2 opened the cage and peered in. Female kabutomushi peered back and then quickly dug herself as far down in the dirt as she could go.

    almost as though the bug could recognize and reason. . . .


  2. Both of those stories are good… perhaps enough for a short story version? or at least a tv episode on some family show?

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