The Mantis (With Apologies to Poe)

The Deadly Mantis

Once upon a weekday dreary, one that ended with us bleary,
Still we persevered to complete every forgotten chore
As my wife, who got home first, often has the workload worst
Let out the dog before he’d burst, burst right through the door
“Hold on, already!” she muttered, “First let me at the door —
Then you’ll go, and not before.”

For dog’s sake she flung the entry, when, while standing there as sentry,
Nearby hung a praying mantis about as tall as Tipper Gore
Perhaps a slight distortion make I, but it looked her in the eye
It, with mien of calm and cool, perched right on our outer door —
Perched upon the squeaky hinge that held fast our outer door —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this creepy bug befuddling, our fair house it seemed ’twas cuddling,
No idea, by the inscrutable countenance it bore,
“Though I’m glad your head’s not wider” said she, “you weird outsider,
Help yourself to any spider wandering ickily heretofore –
But really, why park here on our hideous, paint-chipped door?”
Said the mantis: Nothing. Snore.

Much she marvelled this unsightly thing to sow discord non-sprightly,
Though its silence zero meaning — a little hard to ignore;
For she could not help noting no other predators were doting –
Til she to me was gloating, “Promise me that you won’t roar,
Upon seeing you’ll believe me, ’bout this giant guest in store.”
Then the bug said: Nothing. Snore.

Deadly Night Mantis

Then the Mantis, into the night, just continued to sit
And it sat. And it sat.
And it SAT. SAT. SAT. SAT.
It sat in a Mantis-coma, or performed Mantis-meditation.
It was something we didn’t get. Such consternation!

(…wait. No. I’ve just crossed from Poe to Seuss. Scratch that.)

Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no tearful mantis confessing,
To this couple whose confused looks begged questions galore
Night and day it kept reclining, never moving, never dining,
Unfazed by our dog’s whining, barely noticing its spoor,
In our quandary defining, we asked: do we leave it on the door?
Quoth the mantis: Nothing. Snore.

“Mantis!” thought I, “Thing of dumbness! Insect still, if struck with numbness,
Get thee back into the forest that is my unmowed front-lawn floor!
Leave no green slime as a holder for your place too near my shoulder!
I don’t care that now it’s colder! Get off my stupid door!
Take thy mandibles stage right, and get your thorax off my door!
Quoth the mantis: Nothing. Snore.

The Deadly Mantis That Won't Go the Heck Away

Four days later, three feet lower, still is slower, still is slower
Near the threshold, still occupying our outer door;
Neither of us dares to bump it, we refuse to squash and dump it
Can’t blow it off with a trumpet, yet we still do not adore
This houseguest more perplexing than Zsa Zsa Gabor
So that door’s not ours — not anymore!

Seriously, though: this weird oversize creature still won’t flutter off of its own free will and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s someone’s evil animal totem. SOMEONE MAKE IT GO AWAY.

7 responses

  1. Absolutely amazing!! Love, love, love it! And just out out your hand and let it walk on it then out it on the nearest tree. They are very docile (especially if it’s been hanging around that long) and they do not bite or sting. Promise. Take pics 🙂


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