So currently, my youngest son is banish-ed to his bedroom for the night. His punishment started with having the clean up cat yark from the carpet and will end with yard work tomorrow.
So he's been in his room quietly reading for the last couple of hours. When suddenly, he comes running up the hall, all a fright, jumps on the couch panting and says, "Mom! There was a centipede on me!!"
So we head to his room in search of it. I basically strip his bed but don't see it. Then he has to make his bed. (He had to make it before, but now that it was truly unmade, it was easier.) And I head back to the living room.
Not ten minute later, I hear him holler from his room, "MOM! It IS a centipede!" So I holler back, "Well smash it with a shoe!" To which he replies, "Momma....It's on my bed..."
And I can see his conundrum: He's not allowed to have shoes in his bed + squished bug in his freshly made sheets.
So I come to the rescue with two tissues to capture his inch long foe, whose body -might- be as wide as a bit of string, but his legs give him almost an half an inch. It's pure intimidation on a miniature scale, I tell you. And so I absconded with his vanquished dragon (because seriously, have you LOOKED at a centipede? Those things don't look like they should be real.)
Two seconds later, my boy thinks he might have been bit while he was reading, and he's worried because we've all heard tales about the poisonousness of centipedes. So I turn to google, which shows his foe was the common house centipede...and even if, by some chance he was bit, as long as he's not -really- allergic to bee stings (and centipede bites), he's fine.
Some other cool things we learned:
Did you know that if a centipede doesn't meet an untimely death by shoe, it can live up to 6 years?
They like moist places (which pretty much covers Alabama since about April this year).
They can't actually have 100 legs-- because they always have an odd number of pairs--so they can significantly less or a really lot more.
And they eat other bugs, kind of like your eco-friendly version of the Orkin man, sans the uniform and poison.
And then my boys wanted to see pictures, so we turned to google again and came across these goodies:
We decided this one was smiling at us. Look at that grin as he asks if you have any spare mosquitoes, gov'na. After much giggling, my boys then decided he's not going to ask, he's going to tell you. "Those gnats are MINE! I called 'em! I get to eat 'em!"
They thought this centipede getting to be a turtle snack was pretty cool. (What can I say? Boys.)
They also thought this one gnawing the dead rat was pretty amazing. With very little ick in my voice (I'm sure they didn't even notice. Neither of them accused me of being a girl.), I proclaimed, "Yea, scavengers!" We all decided we wouldn't to be bit by one this big, even if it's not poisonous.
And when we saw this one I said, "Oh look! A mommy!" To which both boys replied, "Awww!" (Yes, you read that right, we had an aw moment over centipede eggs.) After a brief pause, my oldest quips, "You know...it -could- be the daddy, guarding the babies while the mom goes out hunting."
I suppose it could be, sir. I like the way you think!
Then my youngest was sent back to his prison cell complete with books to read and a floor to pick up...because....you know -still- grounded for the night.