At Christmas, a friend admired my cards for sale in The Lemon Fair. She especially complimented the photograph of the praying mantis
eating the grasshopper, but then offered a small complaint.
"Can't there be an explanation?"
"Sure," I said. "I can write what the bug is and where the photo was taken."
"No," she said, "I mean information about the praying mantis as a bug and its habits. You know, the J Peterman of cards."
I have been thinking about Faye's suggestion ever since she offered it. I have even begun drafting:
"Oh My God!"
"I can't look!"
Bugs in their bugginess digust people, who won't look closer.
Look closer now: the praying mantis eating a grasshopper acts on the instinct to survive. It makes no value judgments; it doesn't run in fear. Instead, the mantis, a female with visible eggs, methodically decimates every particle of food to prepare herself and the developing mantises for what is to come.
A zero draft, nowhere near as exciting and intricate as the mantis and grasshopper.
I do not have the talent for witty imitation that others demonstrate.
Like The Unhappy Hipster, whose send-up of Dwell magazine reads like a postmodern novel or New Yorker cartoons.
Maybe I should re-imagine the text for my cards like this:
Just before its beheading, the grasshopper thought, I knew it would be too hot in this sun.