Whilst there is so much more I want to say about the sea and rivers and lakes and waterways, I also want to move on. I am fairly certain I will be returning to watery writing but for now at least I am going to consider creepy crawlies. A category defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “spiders, worms, or other small flightless creature, especially when considered unpleasant or frightening”. For my purposes here I am including all insects as well so we’ll be looking at flies, at beetles, at moths and butterflies as well as ants and butterflies.
Ants and bees are fascinating creatures and I’ve already written about them as part of my animal spirit posts but I expect I’ll return to them. I’m also hoping to look at the intelligence of these tiny creatures and the role of creepy crawlies in literature. Unlike mammals, we see far less fiction centred around insects etc and I’d be interested to hear from you if you can me towards any.
One thing we do find is the insect human hybrid superhero; spiderman, antman (a fantastically funny film if you’ve not seen it), firefly, black widow, the green hornet, the wasp…. You get the picture! Whilst many people underrate the powers of insects, the fantasy and comic world have embraced them.
According to Kevin Whelan, when it comes to bugs, spiders, and little things that fly into windows, there are 3 types of people. You can be:
- fascinated by bugs and all things awesome
- not too bothered by them but not too interested either
- scared pants-less of them because they are the spawn of Satan
I fall in different categories depending on the animal in question. I am definitely a three when it comes to spiders and my experience of a toilet full of jumping spiders in Ghana did not convince me otherwise. But ladybirds, dragonflies, moths and butterflies are a firm 1. Flies, at the moment, tend to fall into a 2, I’m not bothered by them but I’ve had a lot of nights sharing my bedroom with particularly loud specimens… I am however willing to be swayed to a 1 if that’s where my research into insects takes me!
Related animal spirit posts: