Wednesday 21 August 2013

Parenting. Undertaker Style

You know how it is...

You run up and down, down and up looking for a nice, fresh corpse. You spend hours burying it underground, stripping off the fur and covering every inch of flesh in anti-bacterial, anti-fungal secretions from your own body. It's a tough job, but it's all to create a safe, secure place to raise your children.

On that hallowed, longed-for day when your little ones open their tiny eyes to be greeted by a dark crypt lined with fur, a mound of corpus delicious waiting at its centre, you immediately set to work. You consume lumps of grey, lifeless flesh, digest it and lovingly regurgitate the liquefied result into the desperate mouths of your defenceless young.

It's what any mother would do.

But there's a problem. Your children are boisterous and competitive. They fight for your attention by reaching out with their tiny legs, touching your mouth in the hope of receiving another mouthful of home cooking.

Worse still, one child suffers from a particularly nasty case of oral fixation. He cries and bawls and pesters you constantly, never content with what he has and jealous of every moment of attention devoted to his siblings. Even when he's well fed, the meat soup scarcely dry on the side of his mouth, still he demands more.

You WILL have discipline! So you eat him.

It's what any mother would do.

Image: Amadej Trnkoczy
Yeh... so Sexton Beetles, also known as Burying Beetles, are remarkably devoted parents who go to tremendous effort to give their offspring a great start in life. You can't take that away from them! It wouldn't surprise me if the grubs were taking piano lessons in their ghoulish nursery.

It's just that researchers at the University of Edinburgh have discovered that they sometimes eat children who beg for food too much. I totally understand! After a hard day's work don't we all just want to come home, put our feet up and eat a child?

That's what I love about nature... so many great ideas!


TexWisGirl said...

oh, that's kinda funny!

Joseph JG said...

Hahaha! Glad you think so!

Unknown said...

Wonder what happens when the kids don't like mom's cooking

Syeda Rafiya Shehnaz Urdu High school Daulatabad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Syeda Rafiya Shehnaz Urdu High school Daulatabad said...

" This is the life", this is the irony of life. so we all must thank God, for giving us a comparatively comfortable life. if otherwise if we might had the beetles like this, then we too might had done this same food chain procedure.

Joseph JG said...

@Justin: I don't know. I'm sure it's merciless and brutal, though!

@Ishrat: Oh, wow. I couldn't live like these beetles! We have to be glad that we found some good ways of making good food!