I still remember the week we moved the classroom to a farm. How we could connect the pictures in the book with the insects that we found. I still remember how much the water is a home for bugs. How water skippers walk on water, and how diving beetles brought bubble-air below to hunt for lesser water bugs. We watched the mandibles in microscopes and still sometimes I meet the vision of their craving in my dreams.

They say that insect populations have declined since then, that pesticides from farms has ditched the habitats of water-bugs, that ponds have dried and rain becoming acid.

I wonder how a child today can marvel at the life of ponds and streams. I wonder who else than me, remembers how a beetle’s mandibles might scare that child. I wonder if anyone will ever know invertebrate fear.

a water skipper
pretending to be Jesus —
swallowed by a toad

Kim hosts the haibun Monday at dVerse, and the topic is to write about insects.

September 30, 2019

15 responses to “Mandibles

  1. A brilliant title for an insect anecdote, Björn, and I love your childhood recollection. I’ve never seen any diving beetles and their bubble-air, which I find fascinating. I’m so sad at the devastation of insect populations through the use of pesticides and hope that some of the species will survive so that future generations can marvel at them.

  2. Your haiku was killer clever, and the haibun was unique and personal. Science tells us that insects, especially cockroaches will survive a nuclear winter, as mankind dies, insects will rise.

  3. Cool write Björn. Did not know that water walkers were disappearing, but then I haven’t paid attention.

  4. My grandkids marvel with me at the insects around us. Dreaming of mandibles magnified would be frightful! I love your haiku 🙂

  5. Love that haiku. I share your worries, but then I don’t seem many children around me interested in nature, which I think is a huge shame. I couldn’t imagine my life without that richness. I enjoyed this, Bjorn! 🙂

  6. This reminds me of my own childhood. My friends and I were always out exploring, only coming home for a meal. Thanks for the memories.

  7. So beautiful and sad… and then that haiku! I keep giggling – I just LOVE it.

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