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Love is Blind

May 19, 2017

The Japanese love insects. Children collect them and even raise them from eggs and grubs.

I bought a stag beetle grub when I lived in Japan. It grew into a large male. It was black and shiny, like patent leather, a thing of beauty with magnificent antlers.

One day, a friend was visiting and I put it on his finger so he could study it up close. The beetle, which until then, had been a gentle, bumbling thing, seemed to come alive. It started walking backwards along my friend’s finger. When its abdomen was flush with the tip of the finger, something emerged from its body, something sinister and sharp. It was like the scene in ‘Alien’ where various sets of teeth emerge from the alien’s mouth, only in miniature.

It happened very fast and my friend had to rip the beetle off his finger to avoid being inseminated. The beetle had sharp little feet like stilettos which tore tiny chunks of flesh from the finger.

The stag beetle didn’t live for long after that. The males die soon after mating.

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