I encountered a praying mantis again like I did the time one appeared in our kitchen in Nice, France. This time it stood outside the front of our place. I came back from a run and spotted him. I stopped mid-stride, catching his attention, his head teetering up at me.
“Oh, hi Mr. Little Praying Mantis Man.”
Excited to tell Nick, I rushed towards the apartment, my footsteps pounding on concrete. Before I opened the door, I knew Nick had heard my little sprint. He looked up from his desk with a curious expression.
“Hey, do you want to take a break and see a praying mantis?” I asked but already knew the answer would be yes. After all, it is his favorite bug.
“Sure. Don’t forget the camera,” Nick said, slipping his feet into flip-flops.
On the walk path, Mr. Praying Mantis swiveled his alien-like head left and right, posing for the camera.
Oblivious to how awestruck we were to seeing him, he began walking, slow and wobbly, towards a patch of flowers. His body bounced up and down with each stride and as he plotted his green self on the plant, he became slightly camouflaged.
We watched him pop up in excitement, head twirled, gaze settling on a neighboring bee. He had entered bee territory. Unaware of Mr. Praying Mantis, the worker bees were too busy gathering pollen from the little red flowers.
“I wonder if he’s going to eat a bee?” Nick said.
I didn’t know if praying mantis hunted bees, but we got our answer when he snatched one flying by. Thrilled we were witnessing a hunt, I fumbled with the camera, removing the lens cover off again. Nick grabbed the camera from me, quickly documenting the nature show. Like something out of National Geographic, we witnessed the mantis decapitating the bee, devouring the head first before consuming the rest of the body.