by Delbert Trew
hours of entertainment
be wrong, but it seems to me that bugs were worse in the old days.
Every one remembers the mosquitoes, flies, wasps, ants, bees and chiggers
of old. Maybe it's because we have repellents and bite remedies always
at hand today.
My grandson's eclectic collection of mounted crawlers, rodent skulls,
antlers, turtle shells and other oddities prompted me to recall other
friendly bugs or crawlers that provided many hours of entertainment
when I was a child.
The favorite bug has to be the lightning bug. This little flying lantern
didn't bite, kept blinking on and off no matter if free or captured
in a Mason jar. During spring and summer months, just after sundown,
down in the low places, we spent hours chasing these blinking beacons.
Once captured, you could observe nature's best from only an inch away.
Some of the most serene moments of my life have been spent watching
the lightning bugs play along a creek bottom.
How about what we call "sand fleas?" They loved the dry dust under
sheds where they created their little funnel traps to catch flies
and other crawly critters. I spent many an hour on my knees with a
straw of grass in hand pushing particles of dirt down into the traps.
When they sensed prey had fallen into the funnel, the little bugs
exploded upward to attack for another meal.
Remember tumble bugs? These most industrious little bugs were always
in a hurry and relentless in rolling up marble size balls of fresh
manure. They spent hours struggling to roll these balls somewhere.
Many times I followed closely trying to find their destination, but
it was all in vain.
A science class at Perryton schools studied red ants with the den
held between two panes of glass. This was not my cup of tea as I had
experienced "ants in my pants" too many times.
As a young child, I experienced my first wasp
sting while accompanying Grandma and Grandpa Trew during milking time.
Boy howdy, did it hurt until Grandpa held a cud of chewing tobacco
on the bite. Almost immediately the sting went away. How about that
for an old-time remedy?
I usually had a tarantula in a jar where I fed him grasshoppers, tadpoles,
a horned toad or a lizard, a terrapin or maybe a big black centipede
with orange legs. Mother always made me turn them loose after a day
or so. The insect I hated most were blister bugs that created a line
of white blisters everywhere they crawled.
Look out for the pinchers on a pinch bug and hold your nose if you
squashed a stink bug.
I remember one year when I helped Dad mix grasshopper bait and spread
it around the gardens, yards and along the fence rows around the fields
Another time we were invaded by June bugs. They literally covered
the ground every night.
Of all the night creatures remembered, I fell asleep many a night
listening to the chirp of a cricket hidden in some dark recess of
Somehow you just knew everything was going to be all right if his
serenade was not interrupted.