Back in September, Bug and I caught a beautiful insect. After some research we learned it was an Angle-winged Katydid.
A gentle and friendly little thing, we decided to attempt to domesticate him. Bug declared it his “first pet ever” (true) and named him Diggers. (They don’t dig at all, actually, but the name is a residual impulse from Bug’s fading obsession with construction equipment.)
Like any responsible pet owner, Bug bought Diggers a proper home and cut some maple tree leaves from the backyard for munching. We even got a book at the library with katydid characters and researched their life cycle online.
In the evenings, we would let Diggers out to stretch his legs and wings on supervised excursions. He wouldn’t get far, as katydids are more awkward jump-gliders than actual flyers. Quite the globe-trotter, this one.
Bug never worked up the courage to hold him. But he loved having a “pet” to talk to and call his own.
After all the maple trees lost their leaves, we kept our katydid happy with romaine lettuce. Sadly, after 2 months in captivity, Diggers passed away. I like to think we extended his life by a few weeks, as the cold weather would have had issued him the same fate even earlier.
With tears streaming down his face, I hugged Bug for a long time — the world of my sweet little boy rocked by the passing of his first pet. To him, the loss was so real and painful. But, through this beautiful green critter, God gave me an opportunity to help my son learn one of life’s hard truths. We talked about how important all life is, how we are only here on Earth a short time, and how we each have a special role to play in a much bigger plan.
Diggers played his role as “first pet” perfectly. May he rest in peace.