I worked as a volunteer social worker for one year just after high school in the inner city of Norfolk, Virginia. When we moved into our house we discovered incredible numbers of cockroaches. Many of them lived under a cupboard. When we turned it over I did a war dance and dispatched many, many little beasts. But this was only a small start - we had plenty of them left.

I found a very large praying mantis in our yard about a week later. I had read that the Chinese released praying mantis in their homes to control bugs. So I caught and released my fine large green mantis in our home.

I did not see Mr. Mantis for a couple of weeks. I hoped he was doing his duty and eating our roaches. Then I forgot about him.

Pastor Deramis came over to our home bringing his very proper and dignified wife with him. They sat at our kitchen table. Mrs. Deramis was clearly a little concerned with being in our less than palatial home but she was trying hard. Just then, wouldn’t you know it, Mr. Mantis flew out and landed on the shoulder of Mrs. Deramis. I quickly knocked it from her shoulder. She handled it as well as could be expected after I explained that it was just in our home to keep the cockroaches down.

They never came over again. Something I said?

More stories about my year in Norfolk at:

My Aunt Virginia shared this fine ditty:

Funny!  You surely know this ditty: 

“I woke up in the morning and looked upon the wall.  
The roaches and the bedbugs were having a game of ball.  
The score was seven to nothing.  The roaches were ahead.  
The bedbugs started kicking and kicked me out of bed.”

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