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Don't Jump

"Hey there!", I said as I approached this rather fine looking ladybird , "How's it going?" There was no answer, not a peep, not a sound, just silence. "Is everything OK?" I asked, not wanting to pry but concerned enough to ask nonetheless. "I'm going to end it all" said the ladybird "I'm going to jump!". "Why on earth would you want to do that?" I feigned concern, after all the bloody thing could fly "what's happened?". The ladybird cocked its head and wiped away a tear "All my children are gone, all except Ann and she's hiding under a frying pan". "What - I didn't think you ladybirds knew your offspring, you just laid eggs and left them!". "The ladybird, let's call her Martha, looked at me and said "We do, but I was recently picked up by one of you lot and it told me about my kids and blew me into the air". "So you can fly then" I said "so jumping to your death would be pretty difficult!". "Mmm, never thought of it like that, but it is only 10 degrees C!" said Martha "Maybe I would just fall to my death".

Martha was really down, but I knew why Martha had this concern, in the UK kids sometimes sing a little rhyme about ladybirds which tells them of doom and disaster for their families. They are then blown into the air to go and look after their one remaining child, Ann. The rhyme goes:

Ladybird ladybird fly away home,

Your house in on fire and your children are gone,

All except one and that's little Ann,

For she crept under the frying pan.

I explained this to Martha, who cheered up instantly, bug psychology is so easy as they are so trusting.


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Taken on October 18, 2009