Praying Mantis

A praying mantis hangs upside down at the rim of a mason jar waiting with genuflected front legs to be released into a chilly summer night. Night air scuds across his tiny, triangular face as he allows one leg and another to grab hold of the fishlike bark in front of him. He crawls slowly across its back to the tip exiting in front of our house.

From the west side of our back porch there's a grand daddy long legs careering forward with stealth and stalk. He's hungry. Moving a bit faster along a single plank he closes distance between him and the praying mantis. He miscalculates his prey when a sudden pounce is thrust upon the long legs' tick sized body.

Beneath a single porch light I became a voyeur watching death and survival take place instantly. My heart ached for long legs' cruel death though I found it exciting the praying mantis would live to see another day wake.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if they stay the same color or do the have the ability to change? That one is such a perfect match for the deck wood.

Max-e said...

Interesting post. I watched your video and then starting watching other prayiing mantis one's on You Tube and completely forgot to comment.
I see that we have both been doing the frog thing as well. They look so cute until they lauch into their croaking outside your bedroom window. Our bull frogs can get quite noisy and have to be relocated.

gel said...

These large insects have fascinated me ever since I was a child and learned they did not bite. Their camaflauge trick is cool, too.
Poignant and well written post. As a writer I also am noticing and smiling at nice word usage like "genuflected", "scuds", "fishlike bark."