Out for our evening walk, AJ was acting strangely. He was pawing at something and jumping backward, looking intently at what I originally mistook as a leaf. Forehead deeply wrinkled, he looked at me over his shoulder as if to ask "What am I supposed to do with this???"
Well, I just had to have a peek. There, in front of my dog, with "arms" in classic position and wings held high over its back like war flags, was a 4-inch preying mantis. Now, I'm not bothered by mantids and actually find them quite fascinating. But this one was pretty angry, turning its head this way and that and ruffling its wings to make a whispery dry-leaves-in-the-breeze sound….as if daring me to take just one more step closer.
I know mantids do not have eyebrows. But this one scowled at me impatiently. Apparently, it thought I was the one in charge of the whole party and was incensed that I had allowed my dog to disturb its peace. I was pretty sure it might be time to move on.
But, we all, who have …I mean.... who serve Basenji (not for dinner-I mean those of us who bow to their majesties…but I digress...) We all know how tenacious a Basenji can be.
AJ was not ready to cede that section of concrete to a creature approximately 1% of his size. He put his nose right down into the face of the annoyed insect. And the mantis responded instantaneously with a lightning strike with its "arms," landing a slap right to the end of my brave boy's nose. Enough was enough. My dog gave a last indignant sniff and allowed the mantis its victory.
As we slithered away, defeated by a 4-inch bug, the mantis rustled its wings at us. I do believe it was .....laughing at us.
The shame.....the humiliation of it all.....
How will we ever live this down?