Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I travel about an hour to get my hair cut these days. The woman who cuts it was a kid in my class in my rookie year of teaching. Out of the 30 so of them she was the least likely to have become a friend of mine many years later, yet friends we are and I enjoy visiting with her and her family every time I made the trip to get sheared. When I was there last evening her husband remarked that they were being inundated with ladybugs and I saw a few buzzing around the ceiling light in their kitchen. Today, apparently, it was our turn and I saw bunches of the little buggers here and there on the way to work and outside my classroom windows. Today as I hopped on the scooter to go to the bank I saw this stowaway settling down to take the ride with me.

As I rode along she hung on and even walked around a bit, and a few miles out, just when I thought my small rider was going to climb up onto my fingers, she spread her wings and took off. I thought at once of the morbid chant my mom would say whenever we saw a ladybug when I was a lad. "Ladybug! Ladybug! Fly away home! Your house is on fire! Your children will burn!" My curiosity about that line grew the more I thought about it, and I knew I'd have to Google it when I got back here. Not surprisingly, the big G found some references to it, and my suspicion was confirmed: it's every bit as disturbing as "Ring around the rosy" though in an insect sort of way, of course.

I saw a bunch of these things too when I went for my haircut. For the record, if I see one of them mounting the scooter with me, it's getting the boot!


kz1000st said...

It must have been the Lady Bug season recently. I had one hitch a ride while I was out on the lawn tractor the other day. At first it was on my hand and then it dropped down near my feet until it flew away. I don't know if it means good luck or anything, so I left it alone.

Lance said...

Joe, interesting piece on the ladybug nursery rhyme. As you note, there must have been some pretty twisted writers on the nursery rhyme staff!

At least you have to get a haircut. Alas, I can do mine myself in about a minute!

irondad said...

It's always amazing how bugs can hang on at high speeds, isn't it?

As to the turkeys, well, if one wanted to come home with me to "warm up" so to speak, I could live with that!