After we re-located the praying mantis, we began the process of, well, relocating it. Steve set his briefcase on the bank’s windowsill. “Maybe I could take my computer out…”
“We can’t put him in your briefcase,” I said. “He’ll get smooshed.”
“Pocket?” Steve looked down into his shirt’s breast pocket.
“Will he stay in there?”
“I have no idea.”
It was a big pocket, but I was still unconvinced. “Can he even fit in there?”
Steve looked down again. “I guess. Maybe?”
“Could you just carry him?”
Steve reached up to the window and let the mantis crawl onto his hand. “I think so.”
We started to walk, and the mantis leapt off his hand and flew a few feet away. Steve recaptured him, and the cycle continued. He flew ahead of us across Washington Street. We corralled him on the sidewalk, warning a couple of college students not to step on him.
“Whoa,” said the college guy. “Praying mantis. That’s a big one!”
The girl looked at it, her jaw slack, eyes wide. Silly girl.
“We’re trying to catch it,” I said. “I’ve never seen one before.”
Did I mention I used to be one of THOSE kids? One of those kids who asked inappropriate questions in a loud voice in public? OK, maybe not, but apparently, that night, I’d completely turned off my filter.
“You know the female eats the male after sex,” said the college guy. Then he snickered.
“Smart female,” I said.
They continued down the sidewalk, and Steve picked up the praying mantis again. Again, it flew away, this time over toward the store windows that line Clinton Street.
“Do you have anything in the car we can put him in?” Steve asked.
“Coffee cup from Sunday morning,” I said. “Now I’m glad I forgot to take the trash out of my car.”
I raced to retrieve it, and when I returned, Steve stood guard over the praying mantis, which was working his way up another window. Steve took the paper cup and lid, and gently slid the insect in. “Got him,” he said.
“Let’s go, let’s go!” I said. “Let’s get him home!”