(Insert Scarface quote about "my leetle friend" here)
Before you read please see full-sized, as the post will make a heck of a lot more sense that way. Go on, I'll wait here for you.
You see, I wanted to share with you guys something from my life a few mornings ago. I have a window on my right while sitting at my desk, and pulling up the venetian blinds a few days ago I spotted this little beetle. He was about the size of the first joint of my finger, and as you can see his little bronze legs were gripping the screen tight while he waited for the sun to warm him up again.
I took a few pictures of him because, well, because I had my camera and because he was so neat looking. I mean, at a distance of a foot or more he was just a generic bug: beetle-shaped, ovalish, big wing cases, little eyes and feelers out front, the usual compliment of legs, but it was a closer look at his shell that made all the difference. He looked just like that antique maple end table that's sat in my great-aunt's parlor for the last hundred and seventy or so years. He even had those tiny blurred 'knothole' spots on his side and tiny pores dotting the seemingly smooth surface, like the pores in wood.
Teasing him gently off the screen and onto my finger wasn't a challenge, and it further rewarded me when I saw in the light that his eyes were a startling shade of slate blue. They looked like they had been made of glass, perfect ovals, with a eerie translucence and a depth that belied their tiny size.
And of course being me, I started thinking about why exactly a beetle would need to look just like a piece of finished wood. And since I couldn't think of any good reason for a beetle that big to look just like someone's antique five-door three-legged family credenza, I rationalized that somewhere out there is a master craftsman, a furniture builder of great repute who, taking a break from making a beautiful chest of drawers or a table's legs had carefully carved him out of a little bit of scrap wood lying on the floor as a diversion. And so cunningly did he carve and shape this little wooden beetle that some tiny mote of Life which was floating around his workshop looking for a window decided to take up residence in that little wooden carving, and liking what it found it took flight with gossamer wings and ash-pale body to wander the world.
Or something like that.