Dear reader, I know I said I was taking a break and I am. It's just that something happened the other day, something very small in the grand scheme of things, but which still makes my heart ache and which I'll have to mention sooner or later in case anyone besides my Chicago nieces is following the story of Marshall and wonders why I suddenly stopped talking about him.
Anyway, Marshall died the day after he molted. It was especially difficult to accept because it was my negligence which created the problem: his habitat was too dry and therefore he got stuck in the molting process and it all went south from there.
I'm not sure you want to listen to my eulogy for Marshall. If you've been reading this blog for the past several months, you'll have your own sense of why his tiny life was so fascinating.
There's something to that, you know: the fact his existence was seemingly insignificant, all things considered, yet how good it felt to care for him. As I look out on this world and hear the stories of people who have such brutal disregard for life, something about travelling to the opposite end of that spectrum, of nurturing a spark of being, made me feel this swiftly tilting planet came a little more into balance.
The next morning, there was a knock on my door and I opened it to see two dear friends standing there, pointing to something on the front step. It was a full grown mantis, unfortunately in the throes of death. I picked her up, brought her inside, and set her in Marshall's old habitat. It was amazing to observe her up close, to see what Marshall could have become, to marvel over her details, the comparison, this timely coincidence.
In a way, it made me want to try again...which is odd, given only five minutes earlier I'd been cringing under the thought I had no business bringing Marshall in from the wild. I realize there's much to be said for observing insects in their natural environment and collecting only the dead specimens I come across...I guess I'll give it more thought.
At any rate, I'm still feeling the need to tend to things other than Tollipop. The only problem is, this blog is something of an outlet for me, a nice way to untangle my brain, so there's a certain catch-22 in spending too much time with or away from it.
I'll end with a clip of Marshall in better days, the way I prefer to remember him, and a warning not to watch if the food chain makes you squeamish. I'm sorry I said his hunting skills were subpar...he was actually quite good, if a bit indecisive.
Franchement, who am I to talk? I can't even commit to a blog break.
He was such a great little guy. I'll miss him very much.