Friday, September 29, 2006

Finn Learns about Insects (and Injustice)

Our cheeky hero was lying in the grass where dad had carefully placed him and was listening to the sounds of the garden; birds twittering, the squatters next door speaking loudly in Spanish, aeroplanes, mum mowing the lawn, dad reading - the usual.

All of a sudden he felt something sharp and tingly, something - leggy - walking up his arm. He waved his arms about but still the nasty sensation continued, up his arm and - horror of horrors - onto his little face!

"Aaaaaaaagghhhh!" said Finn and dad came over to see what all the fuss was about.

"Hey little mate what's up eh? Oh! A beetle. Ahhh....There there, he was lost that's all."

Finn stared at dad with his big eyes.

"Ok. Well beetles are insects you see. They do look weird but they are very important creatures and we should all try to be more appreciative of their services. Your auntie Anna told us a story about beetles in India, do you remember?

She was out in the desert. The dunes spread for miles in every direction. Miles and miles of nothing but sand. Then, as the sun went down, all these dung beetles appeared and started rushing about. They clean up every evening after dark. Every speck of dirt, camel poo, whatever - they drag under the sand to see if they can eat it later. Remember how auntie said they kept trying to carry her off? How every few minutes while they were sitting on the sand round the fire they would reach down and grab a beetle and throw it into the darkness. A minute or two later he'd be back.

See insects are very hard working. The dunes are spotless thanks to their collective efforts."

Finn smiled. Dad was getting all allegorical as usual.

"People spend a lot of money on sprays and poisons to try to kill insects and keep them out of their houses. The funny thing is that if it wasn't for those very same creatures then we would all be buried - in our own poo!"

Finn smiled again. He was only a few weeks old but already his sense of humour was rather lavatorial...

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