Bucky: 2007-2007

Bucky as a hatchling (top left).

The young Bucky.

The mature Bucky, clowning for the camera.

Bucky, who dedicated his entire life to teaching a California family about the life-cycle and eating habits of praying mantises, is dead.

His lifeless body was found in his Critter-Keeper early Saturday morning. Cause of death is unknown, although, as he was over four months old, foul play is not suspected.

“He” (his true sex was unknown) lived a full, healthy, insectoid life.  He was purchased as one of hundreds of mantis hatchlings contained in his egg sac, which came in a net bag.  Most of his hundreds of brothers and sisters were released into the wilds of Santa Monica’s Douglas Park, but Bucky seemed to understand from the beginning that he was destined for greater things.

He was known for his inquisitive nature, his upbeat, sparkling personality, his love of children and sunshine, and his voracious appetite. He enjoyed a good joke and cherished the hours he spent hanging upside-down. He would drop whatever he was doing in order to crawl on a hand and maintained a presence on the internet through a “blog” run by one of his owners. He was known as the cockiest, most adventurous and most handsome of mantises. Sadly, he never actually had the opportunity to mate with one of his kind and produce young.

His job title was instructor, but Bucky was a mantis who could not be constrained by labels. In his pursuit of larger truth he became an idea and an ideal, a bringer of joy to the handful of people who were blessed to encounter him.

He is survived by his brothers Gimpy, Brownie and Hoppy. In accordance with mantis tradition, his remains were devoured by crickets.

Gaily I lived as ease and nature taught,
And spent my little life without a thought,
And am amazed that Death, that tyrant grim,
Should think of me, who never thought of him.
~René Francois Regnier

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11 Responses to “Bucky: 2007-2007”
  1. r_sikoryak says:

    Our most heartfelt condolences. I deeply regret that I never met the mantis.

  2. amara_anon says:

    R.I.P. Bucky.

    I didn’t know him personally, but his spirit has touched us all.

  3. medox says:

    Oh Bucky, I hardly knew thee, but your fierce mantis-y spirit will live on.

  4. planettom says:

    Proud green explorer
    Questing for the next cricket
    Inspires Haiku

  5. urbaniak says:

    Alas, poor Bucky. Where be your gambols now?

  6. eronanke says:

    I named a found kitten “Bucky”, after Mr. Buckminster Fuller. He now resides with a loving home under a different name, sadly enough. Perhaps, it was in this way, that he escaped the “Bucky” curse!

  7. popebuck1 says:

    Will you be establishing a Bucky Fund to encourage young mantises, in his memory?

    Put me down for five dollars. He would have wanted it that way.

    • Todd says:

      Bucky was adamantly opposed to any kind of foundation established in his memory. Such institutions, he knew, would tend toward corruption and perfidy, granting funds only to mantises who don’t really need it.

      However, if you wish to honor his memory, it would delight him if you were to think of him whenever you eat a cricket while hanging upside-down.

  8. greyaenigma says:

    First Cap, now Bucky.

    He will be missed.

  9. teamwak says:

    Sad news indeed.

  10. Sorry to hear about your loss…

    If you want to have a fun day, you take a couple of nets and sweep through fields of grass – there you will catch that which you can’t see.

    My Insect subject for final year had 300+ insects, including 5 different types of praying mantis (and a stick insect – the only thing that trumps the mantids!!)

    Have plenty of catch jars – if you want to be evil, you freeze them and pin them out as they thaw….