“Dad, dad, dad.”
The children all shouting in unison. It can only mean one thing: one of them has their head stuck in the hole in the piano leg again.*
But no: this is one of those happy occasions when the children have found something which they know will interest me. Mooonrise, thunderstorms, rainbows, butterflies, a slowworm in the garden, a colourful stone, a moth trapped in a bedroom – “Dad,” they yell, “bring your camera.”
This time it was this – a hawthorn shield bug Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale (there’s a name to make some of us wince) which had found its way into our porch. It doesn’t live solely on hawthorns, but is inordinately fond of haws apparently.
“It’s a stink bug Dad.” B told me authoritatively.
“Why do you call it that?”
“Because if you pick it up then it will squirt you with stinky stuff.”
“Oh. How do you know that then?”
“Well….why else would you call it a stink bug?”
He’s right though. They do do that. This one was very well behaved however, when I carried it outside to find better light for a photo.
*The head in the piano incident: sounds like something from a Carry On film, I know, but, yes, this did happen. No, I didn’t take any photos. It was B. Yes, boy was removed from said hole without significant damage to either child or piano, although he was quite red-faced and upset by the time we’d manoeuvred him out. Actually, I think we were all quite red-faced and upset. I don’t know how the piano felt about the matter, but it did have to be re-tuned shortly afterwards. No, I don’t know why he did it. We’re encouraging him to play guitar now that we’re alive to the dangers of the piano. Any more questions?