Praying Mantises


This afternoon I went for a run, for the first time in eons. I think I did a Parkrun earlier this year, but today I waited until it was ludicrously hot, and after I was tired from a day of taking the kids to museums and swimming lessons, and then finally went out. I wasn’t planning on setting any records; I was quite happy that I did 5k in less than half an hour, and that my legs didn’t fall off. But what I was really focusing on was my new comedy set, based on the books my children make me read.

I learned yesterday that the list of things praying mantises will eat includes snakes. That must be quite embarrassing for the snake in question. You’re a reptile feared by most of humanity, and now something that isn’t even a vertebrate is snacking down on you

Incidentally, praying mantises are in the same family as cockroaches. To reiterate, nobody is scared of cockroaches. Plenty of people are startled or disgusted by cockroaches, but that’s a “aaargh, what is that disgusting thing?” moment, akin to when you spot a mouse or a rat in your house. You don’t jump on a chair and scream when you see a snake. You run out of your house yelling.

Speaking of mice, they also get eaten by praying mantises. As I read this book that La Serpiente had insisted on, I began to realise that the great spectrum of life on earth is apparently merely a buffet for the praying mantis. If it had revealed they occasionally snack on a blue whale or an African elephant, I would not have been surprised at this point.

But bad enough if you’re a mouse. I mean, there you are, you’re a mammal. You’ve got that whole capability to ensure homeostasis going on, you have an advanced circulatory system, you’ve probably even got a spleen. And now you’re being eaten by a glorified stick insect.

It’s enough to drive you to religion.

I guess that’s why they’re praying so much.

Is that a reason why I should run more, or less?


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