The Christmas Egg Case

Eduardo Sure; Terry the Mantis, 2016; Watercolor on Paper

A field of Douglas Fir trees was spread out in straight rows and straight columns. They were short enough to fit inside of a living room. On the trunk of one of those trees, an egg case was attached. Terry and 219 other Praying Mantises were in the egg case waiting for summer to arrive so they could come out.

After Thanksgiving, a woman walked through the rows of Douglas Fir trees. She really liked one of them. The tree was healthy, an ideal shape, and just the right height for her living room. So, the woman cut the tree down, tied it to her car, and took it home. Terry’s egg case was on that tree.

The Douglas Fir looked beautiful in the woman’s living room. She placed a star on top.  She wrapped twinkling lights around it. She hung shiny silver spheres from the tip of every branch. Where there weren’t spheres, she placed just the right amount of tinsel. The Douglas Fir was warm in the woman’s living room. So was the egg case where Terry and 219 other praying mantises waited for warm weather.

Warm weather had arrived since the tree was indoors. After weeks of warmth, on Christmas morning, the praying mantises came out of their egg case. The woman screamed when she saw Terry and 219 praying mantises crawling all over her tree. She opened a window that was beside the tree hoping that they would march out of her apartment on their own. Terry was a smart mantis and started to walk toward the window, but then felt the cold wind and believed that they would freeze if they went outside. Then, the woman came back with a vacuum cleaner. They would surely die if they remained on the tree. Terry had to do something.

Terry shouted, “Brothers and sisters; if we go outside, we will die! If we stay here, we will die! You all must run into the vent when you hear the woman scream!” Then, when the woman was close enough, Terry jumped on her head and crawled into her ear. The woman screamed.

Two-hundred-nineteen mantises marched into the vents as the woman thrashed around her living room. Terry crawled around in the woman’s ear until all of his brothers and sisters were inside of a vent and out of sight. When Terry crawled out, the woman was so relieved that she kept Terry as a pet. Since all of his family was safe, Terry was alright with that.

The End

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