Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Monkeytail and Wellington Adventure

I have a little story to tell you about a beetle.

Those of you who know me, know that if something is going to go wrong around me, chances are it will snowball into a catastrophe fairly quickly. And with two very precocious little girls constantly at my side you can guarantee a disaster of some proportions is at hand just about every day. You’ve got to laugh or you’ll cry right? Well, we laugh a lot around here!

My husband is the champion of my daughters’ lives. He is always taking them out exploring in the garden, digging for worms, collecting insects and the like. Somewhere along the line, Monkeytail became especially fond of beetles. Not cute little ladybug beetles either… unfortunately. Rather the big, black, rhinosaurus looking kind with nasty sticky claws. The only other animal that runs a close second in her affections are guinea pigs. I personally would rather clean the cages of 10 stinky guinea pigs each day than touch another beetle. But I refuse to let her catch my insect allergy, and bite really hard on one finger whenever one of her beetles wants to give me a cuddle.

One very rainy day a few weeks back, my husband phones while we are out and about on our mornings adventures to say he has found the “Mother of all Beetles” at work and he’s been saving it for Monkeytail. Quote “She’ll love this one, it’s feisty”. That should have been the first warning.

We swing on past and pick up the newest family member. Monkeytail insists on his sitting on her lap while we drive home and I think nothing of it, I took a beetle grocery shopping only last week. Our new feisty friend promptly hops up on his back legs and gives Monkeytail a good ‘talking’ to. Second warning.

“Mummy, he says he wants to go home and have some bread and honey.”

“Sure sweetheart, tell beetle to put his seatbelt on and we’ll go home.”

Beetle continues to state to Monkeytail his demands and they enter a lively discussion about where he’ll sleep when he gets home.

We make it about 2 minutes down the road when Monkeytail starts screaming, so loudly and in such a way that I was certain the beetle had just gone for her throat. She was petrified, to say the least. I try to pull off the road to find out what s going on, when the biggest beetle I have ever seen does a fast lap of the car, passing about one inch from my nose (which is considerably close to the windscreen considering how hard it is raining).

Now I start screaming too. I just can’t help it. Wellington, also in the back, to this point has been watching Monkeytail’s interaction with Beetle with her usually bemused smirk. She starts screaming too cause she doesn’t like to be left out.

I swing off the road and pull up haphazardly at the curb, leaping out into the pouring rain. I fling open Monkeytail’s door hoping that the beetle will just fly out. No such luck.

Beetle has landed on Monkeytail’s head and is stuck in her hair. He’s trying desperately to get free by flapping his wings like mad - only blowing more of her hair up and around and getting even more tangled in it. I, biting very hard on one hand to suppress the fear, try to grab him. Now he’s flapping and hissing and he’s got hold of the skin on her head too.

I look madly around the car for something to whack him with and come up with an umbrella. Monkeytail starts screaming louder because now she thinks I’m going to smack her over the head with my Pooh Bear brolli. Wellington has stopped screaming and is laughing herself stupid.

I manage, very diligently and very bravely to flick the beetle off of Monkeytail’s head without clobbering either of them. At this stage I don’t know what’s going to be more scaring for Monkeytail - the memory of the day the beetle attacked, or the memory of the day Mummy beat her new best friend to death with an umbrella.

The beetle does another few fast laps of the car while I run around flinging open doors trying to usher him out. He finally lands on the cloth trim on Monkeytail’s door. One more swift flick and he’s legs up (still kicking) on the footpath in the rain. I slam all doors shut and hop into the car to console the hysterically crying and hysterically laughing children.

A few minutes later we are all composed if not much wetter and disheveled and are headed home. I’ve made the call to Monkeytail’s dad and had a few words regarding feisty beetles and keeping them properly restrained for transport. Another 2 minutes down the road and Monkeytail says…

“Mummy, where’s my beetle? I want him, he’s going to sleep in my room.”

“Honey, your beetle just tried to take out one of your eyes and has given you a rather bad haircut. Why would you still want him to sleep in your room?”

“Cause I love him.”

What can you say to that?

This is a picture (posed and taken by Monkeytail) of our latest beetle family member. We sometimes struggle with the release part of our catch and release programme, but this one has since been returned safely to his mummy! Here he is sleeping soundly in the dolls house master bedroom. Nothing but the best for our house guests :)


  1. Ha ha! This is a hilarious story! Love it, especially the deluxe accomodation for beetles at your house!

  2. Thanks Zofia! There's never a dull moment around here!