If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember the slightly daft idea I had to give my Dad some Giant Thorny Stick Insects for Christmas. It turns out it’s probably the best present I have ever given him – he seems to love them the same way I do Norman cat. Weird.
Anyway, Mrs Stick Insect died a good few months back, leaving just two…and around a hundred eggs. We never thought the eggs would hatch and Dad seemed so sad about Mrs SI (he dried her out on the radiator and now resides on top of the tv. Mum was not overly impressed), that Mum and I bought him two more – this time Leaf Stick Insects. Mrs Leaf promptly laid 100 or so eggs herself.
Around 40 of Mrs Giant Thorny SI’s eggs hatched and most have been donated back to the reptile shop I bought them from. Dad just kept four – two babies and two originals. All are now huge. There was no sign of Mrs Leaf’s babies.
That is, until last week when I got a text to say that Dad was the proud owner of a Little Bud – George the second. Exciting news (if you’re that way inclined). Not so exciting when you are about to look after all the stick insects while your parents go on holiday. They left on Saturday. We now have George the second right through to George the tenth. (Sadly, George the eighth died in the water bowl).
Now, this is all very well, but the baby Georges are hungry and fast. And I didn’t realise how much of either they were until last night when I took them out of the airing cupboard and realised that they’d eaten almost all their brambles. On the way home from yoga, armed with scissors and a torch I threw myself into a hedgerow to extract some dinner for them. I came home, whipped the lid off their cage and….thee of them ran up my sleeve. They have really sticky feet (the clue is in the name) and flicking them back in their cage didn’t go to plan…one flicked straight into the water bowl and laid motionless. I couldn’t risk another going the same way as George the eighth to I picked him up and blew on him. Kind of like stick insect CPR. I’m pleased to announce that this George made it (despite the fact that by this point Norman was showing a real enthusiasm for the creatures running around like they were on speed) so I shoved the lid back on and put everyone back in the airing cupboard. And then panicked as if two could fall in the water, what if the others did and I wasn’t around for CPR? I couldn’t face opening the cage again though – as it was I wasn’t entirely sure that all of them had made it back in their tank, and my hair started feeling really itchy….
You’ll be pleased to know, that Sister 2 came over earlier and we just about managed to contain all the Georges long enough to get the water bowl out. As nine have hatched in four days, we’re pretty terrified about how many we might be foster mums to by the time the parents come home, but at least there won’t be any more CPR moments. We hope :o)