When I was a kid, I was obsessed with insects. Beetles, in particular–jewel beetles.

Like so many others (or…you know, at least some others) I was enraptured by their brightly colored metallic exoskeletons. I couldn’t think of anything more beautiful.

I had this dream of becoming a beetle hunter someday. I planned to travel to the Amazon rainforest to collect rare specimens (got the idea from a National Geographic) and sell them to collectors for a high price.

That dream didn’t exactly pan out.

Instead, the only beetles I possessed were those I purchased off the internet from faraway places, and the closest I got to any kind of jungle was the pile of laundry I was sorting through–filled with its own unique colors and smells.

Boys.

Speaking of which…where were they?

Knowing better than to let my toddlers roam free throughout the house, I dropped the clothes in my hand and rushed down the stairs.

Ah, there they were. Playing with cars in the living room.

“Don’t worry mommy,” my three-year-old said, “I killed it!”

“Killed what, sweetie?” I asked with a half-smile, watching as he aggressively smashed something with a toy car.

“The bug!”

That’s when I noticed it.

There was a blank space on the wall where a frame had previously hung.

“Wait!” I cried out.

But it was too late.

By the time I reached my son, all that was left of my $50 Golden Scarab from Costa Rica was a pile of broken bits and a single golden wing.

My son was so proud.

(C) 2022 Barbara Gray – no content may be used or reproduced without permission of the author.

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