Fly away home.
Your house is on fire.
And your children all gone
All except one,
And that’s little Anne,
For she crept under
The frying pan
The preceding rhyme is the Americanized version of the traditional English verse, which dates from at least the mid-18th century. In the English version, the American Ladybugs become Ladybirds. They are also sometimes called Doodlebugs, but that is another story. The second verse is new to me, but maybe some of you were already aware of it? Ladybug or Ladybird, these brightly colored insects are commonly viewed as being lucky. This being a Friday the 13th, it seemed appropriate to broach the subjects of luck and superstition. The following explanation of the Ladybug beliefs comes from Wiki.
There were superstitious beliefs that it was unlucky to kill a Ladybug, and that the verse would make them fly off. Another superstition states that you should chant the verse if a Ladybug lands on you: if it then flies away again, your wish will come true. Ladybugs are useful as eaters of aphids, which would otherwise damage plants. They can also be a nuisance, but there would be logic from a farmer or gardener’s viewpoint in trying to shoo them away rather than kill them. This could be the rational basis for teaching children to respect them.
The photograph with this post was taken far from home. This picture captured only a fraction of the hundreds of Ladybugs that were crawling all over this split rail fence. We found them, years ago, in a Redwood grove, just north of Santa Cruz, CA.
The motivation for this post comes from a real house fire that occurred in neighboring Maplewood. At the intersection of Sutton and Flora stood a three-story, Victorian house, a home, a dentist’s office and a local landmark. It caught on fire last night, was thought to have been put out, but reignited this morning. Anne heard that the roof had collapsed, so I can only surmise that it is a total loss. Fortunately, no one was home to be hurt. The fire is believed to be accidental. While we have no personal connection with this building, we have seen it many times and appreciated the beauty of its architecture.
Closer to home, where Laclede Station Road passes underneath the New I-64 and soon becomes Wise, an armed robbery occurred this week. An MRH student was robbed at gunpoint by two men, who were driving a Grand Marquis [no relation]. The robbery occurred on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Anne walked through this area, twice. We learned of the crime on Thursday and were understandably distressed. This is the second major crime to occur within “spitting distance” of our house, within a month.
Finally, Dr. Linda Henke, superintendent of the MRH School District announced her retirement, at the end of this semester. They say that bad luck runs in threes, and Dr. Henke’s retirement is bad luck for MRH, but as someone who can see the light of retirement at the end of the tunnel, I can only wish her the best of luck. She has been superintendent for twelve years and has successfully transformed the school district from one that was in trouble to one that we can all be proud of. Good luck, Linda!
I just remembered my best Ladybug picture. I was biking at the Cabin in the summer of 2008, and this little
guy, a girl, rode with me for a mile or two.
We have swarms that hang out on our tank at certain times of the year.
When we built the office building, they populated that too.
For the first year they would fall out of the light fixtures now and again.
Oh – and they do bite.
I thought it was the Asian ladybugs that bit.
@KW, I think that you are right. They are also more orange colored then the normal red.