Now-You-See-It, Now-You-Don’t (Earwig Edition)

When I was little, my older brother and I were obsessed with the outdoors. We lived and breathed to be outside doing whatever mischevious deeds we could do without being under the watchful eye of our mother. These mischevious deeds included making potions out of whatever toxic plants and rocks we could find and mixing them together with water in a hole that we dug in the ground. Another activity we entertained ourselves with was selling bags of “fertilizer” (which was really just Georgia Red Clay that we dug out out our backyard) on the side of the road. However, out of all of our doings, our favourite thing to do was to run “Bug Hospitals”. This meant that we would take whatever plastic containers we could sneak out of our kitchen and fill them with bugs that we thought were in danger or hurt. We would them squirrel these bugs away inside our room to take care of them. Out of all of the bees, caterpillars, and scorpions, our favourite bug that we rescued was an earwig whom we later affectionally dubbed Mr. Wiggy. We saved Mr. Wiggy from an ant-bed where he was being eaten alive. We kept Mr. Wiggy in a plastic container for a little over 3 months and fed him healthy diet of Saltine cracker crumbs and water served to him in a bottle cap. We would take him outside and let him crawl around in a sort of pen that we made him and heavily supervised him. We even got to see him moult a couple of times. By this point, our parents had long since discovered our “Bug Hospital” operation and had made us get rid of all of the bugs except for Mr. Wiggy because he was arguably the least reproachful of all of our creepy crawly friends. When he died, we were quite devastated. In order to console us (and also probably to preserve their house from being overrun by termites or whatever else we decided to take care of), our parents opted to get us an actual pet (a guinea pig). To this day, my parents like to blame their fear of another bug menagerie for the plethora of animals that we have. However, now I am absolutely terrified of bugs and cannot for the life of me imagine why I ever felt it was a good idea to allow bugs into my room. But hey, I guess that’s growing up.

2 thoughts on “Now-You-See-It, Now-You-Don’t (Earwig Edition)”

  1. This is a cute story. My brother and I also would play with insects however while I always liked watching them, my brother always liked beheading them. I remember he beheaded an earwig (sorry) and it kept walking around undeterred. I to this day wonder how it kept living. I can’t help but think that you and your brother and me and my brother would have gotten into a fight about whether to save or behead insects.

    1. Oh my God yes. We fought all of the time about whether we should be dissecting insects or saving them. Mostly it ended with us “saving” them and then when they inevitably died we would either perform proper burials for them (we had a bug cemetery in our backyard) or dissect the larger ones. Truly odd times.

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