'Insectlopedia'

Story Time

July 25, 1999

Editor's note: The windows are open and bugs are everywhere -- especially in this handful of poems on insects.

By Douglas Florian

The Dragonfly

I am the dragon,

The demon of skies.

Behold my bold

Enormous eyes.

I sweep

I swoop

I terrorize.

For lunch I munch

On flies and bees.

Mosquitoes with

My feet I seize.

I am the dragon:

Down on your knees!

The Monarch Butterfly

He is a monarch.

He is king.

He flies great migrations.

Past nations he wings.

He is a monarch.

He is a prince.

When blackbirds attack him,

From poison they wince.

He is a monarch.

He is a duke.

Swallows that swallow him

Frequently puke.

The Weevils

We are weevils.

We are evil.

We've aggrieved

Since time primeval.

With our down-curved

Beaks we bore.

Into crops

And trees we gore.

We are ruinous.

We are rotten.

We drill holes

In bolls of cotton.

We're not modern,

We're medieval.

We are weevils.

We are evil.

The Daddy Longlegs

O Daddy

Daddy O

How'd you get

Those legs to grow

So very long

And lean in size?

From spiderobic

Exercise?

Did you drink milk?

Or chew on cheese?

And by the way,

Where are your knees?

O Daddy

Daddy O

How'd you get

Those legs to grow?

The Termites

Our

high and

mighty

termite

mound

arises

far above

the ground,

and just as

deep, grows underground.

Our nest is

blessed to be

immense. It gives

us all a firm

defense, superior

to any fence. It

shields us from our

enemies. It keeps us

cooler, by degrees.

From floods and droughts

it guarantees. A prize

nobody will assign in

architectural design, but

still our hill suits us just fine.

Text and illustrations from INSECTLOPEDIA, copyright c 1998 by Douglas Florian, reprinted by permission of Harcourt Brace & Company.

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