It was windy, and cool when a little girl rode her green four-wheeled bike up to an open filed nearby her home somewhere in Central Java. She had rested her bike against a shady tree before she began to admire the beauty of a nature could offer her. The little girl observed some plants in front of her, and she was surprised jiggling happily as she found quite many colorful tiny bugs on foliage. Some were red with black spots all over the left and right wings, some were golden, and some were of other colors. She was so curious that she took some of them out of the foliage. She went back home ridding her bike fast to tell this to her mom. Just on the same day, the little girl went back to where she had found those pretty tiny bugs all over the foliage. Only this time, did she bring a used can with some leaves inside;
“I want to bring some of those bugs home. I think it’ll be nice to have them as pets.”
Then the journey began! she collected some colorful bugs inside the used can.
The little girl was I myself. True! I had a memorable connection with those bugs, I sure think they are tiny pretty creatures. Never had I cared about how these bugs’ lives are until recently my memory has been wandering back to my childhood where playing outdoors was much more wanted than playing the internet, video games, facebooking, and all the jazz. To me, it’s never too late to learn, I guess not in this case. There are not many open fields left here anymore, thus I nearly am pessimistic to meet those ladybugs for the “second” time since 1986. To end my desperation ( I am not overdoing, am I? hehe) I decided to arrange a “reunion meeting” with them on the internet, and it went successfully.
During my meeting with them, they revealed some interesting(with one or two shocking info) facts about themselves. The facts I did not care to know when I was a little having them as my pets. Here are what they say about them :
1. We love light colored homes or objects, and we are not harmful house guests.
Then I replied : No wonder you are so colorful yourselves. And I think some just don’t like you, and think you contribute messiness at home- that’s why they try to remove you with a hand-held vacuum. Or even worse a real vacuum cleaner machine.
Then I asked : But you eat our food, don’t you?
LadyB : Oh my! I hope they will forget their vacuum cleaner machine when they see our colorful wings.Well, yes sometimes we do eat your food. And that’s because we are still in a full of energy, but we are running out of food.
2. We love black, red, and yellow (which happens to be the colors of, say, German flag or Belgium one).
I always love flags! and I raised my eyebrows in surprise. They knew I was asking questions. Then said “Yep, we warn predators our killers to stay away from us. We send them a message that we taste awful. And do you know what?”
I shook my head impatiently…..3. ” We play dead sometimes; making our predators think we are dead. “
4. We love to live in groups, aren’t we social creatures? We hibernate in winter in groups.
I said : It’s not nice to live alone.
I also told them that I like raisins. Raisins and they share the same “characteristics”; they are small as well as sweets. Then they smiled humbly.
5.Give us some moistened raisins, other sweets, and non-acidic fruits! We’ll go with them in case there are no aphids.
6. We are bought as pests control for your garden. We are good at doing it.
Sadly I have no garden yet. I might have one someday. They interrupted ” If you have roses, cilantro, tomatoes, any blooming nectar and pollen sources, you will find us there, don’t worry.”
7. We are big on eating ; 50 aphids a day! we are fat, so that we can restore energy for winter hibernation.
8. The Asian ladybugs are more aggressive, so be warned! we will bite you a bit, but really it won’t hurt.
10. Yep, we are spring creatures!
They told me more things about them, which I could not report here. Let’s just say; It was a private reunion meeting I have missed since 1986.
It was fantastic to know more about them. Those little cute creatures that had been in childhood came back to me more openly now. Oh yes, I nearly forgot! in Indonesia, they claim their names as “Kepik Emas”– Emas- Golden. Even though some of them are not really gold in colors.
All in all, it was indeed a beautiful moment back then in 1986. I might go for lady beetles “hunting” one of these days; it’s not to have them as pets, yet it is to admire them for real, you know reliving moment, but now in a more exclusive manner.
Marienvoglein ( German name)