The ten-lined June beetle lives underground for two or three years as a larva that looks like a hungry white prawn. It eats the roots of plants, and loves to destroy my potato crop.
When it is about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, it hatches as a beetle, in those hot days of summer. It likes to fly around and land on an unsuspecting person’s back, where that victim can’t reach it.
These bugs freak me out. I always turn up my collar and stay close to the house when I take our dog out for last call.
Our English springer spaniel puppy, Ruby, had a different view of these beetles. She thought God had put them on this earth for her to chase and, perhaps to bring them into the house to play with.
At this point I would like to share an entry I made in one of my journals where I wrote things of note that happened on any particular day. (The Captain was away commercial fishing and might later be interested in reading how I spent my summer.) Our puppy, Ruby, was a little bit wild and crazy those first months of her life.
August 22, 2007
Ruby brought in a beetle again, after her last pee of the evening. She’s getting very surreptitious about it. She went straight to her doggie bed and put her chin on the bed, trying to look innocent. But I’m onto that fake innocence and sure enough, I heard bug screams coming from inside her mouth. “M-m-m-r-r-z-z-z! M-m-m-r-r-z-z-z!”
It was hard to make her give it up, but finally she spat it out, and batted at it meaning to play with it. I couldn’t just pick it up with my bare hands, but a little dog bowl was nearby, so I used it to try to scoop up the bug. I say “try” because it didn’t work out so well. The beetle has tiny hooks on its legs and they stuck to the fuzzy material of the dog bed. I tried scooping again and as it let go it brushed against my hand and I shrieked. The bug was flung into the corner under a chest of drawers, and Ruby, freaked out by my shriek, leapt up off the bed and backed off a few feet.
I laughed until I cried. Again. She has me laughing so often with her antics out in the yard. I’m sure the neighbours wonder about the old woman who lives alone and goes out into her backyard laughing out loud all by herself.