After eating some delicious burgers, we waddled out of the restaurant, toothpicks in hand, remarking how good the food had been this time. I looked down and I showed my 19-month-old son a small beetle crawling mightily on the concrete beside the car. It was a beautiful hot Texas day and I could almost hear music playing in the background as I showed the insect to him, expecting him to try to pick it up. In that instance, I would vocalize a resounding "no-no!" I was proud to be helping out biologists everywhere, showing my future little scientist a wondrous six-legged specimen amid the hustle and bustle of a busy parking lot. He bent down, getting within six inches of the bug to get a good look at the tiny black insect. Then, he quickly stood up and stomped the bug. He then proceeded to do a Mexican hat dance, ending with outright jumps complete with hand gyrations. I watched the baseball stitching on his little white 5 1/2 sized tennis shoes go up and down on the gray concrete. "Bug dead!" the little exterminator proclaimed. I was flabbergasted and stood there looking at the little bug-mangler with my mouth wide open. Just then my husband said, "Hey, close your mouth before a fly flies in there. We don't wanna have to have him kill that too!"

copyright (c) 1999 by Mari