Colorado beetles

She lived in the village which was very remote from any “civilisation”. The road to their house was not paved and would always get muddy when it rained. She didn’t realise that there is a boundary between animals and people until her family moved to the city. Animals in the city had different functions – they were pets. Their purpose was to entertain, bring comfort and sensual pleasure of touching their fluffy bodies. Until she was 6 – animals lived everywhere. They lived in a field and would annoy grandmother with their interference to the crop growth and harvest. They lived in the barn – but it was their home only out of convenience and when they were older, since the younger ones – piglets, chicks, ducklings, small geese, puppies and cats would always stay inside the house until they grew old enough to live outside. Cats were the most independent ones – they would come only to have their share of milk. After all, they were working hard to keep the house clean of mice and rats.

But the most interesting creatures were Colorado beetles. Those were in three types – large older ones (they were the most pleasant looking), the middle red ones (quite disgusting) and the yellow eggs that would always be hiding under the leaves. The task was simple – walk along the rows of green potato bushes and collect those small bugs into the bucket. Each leaf had to be carefully explored and then she had to grab bugs with hands and place them into the bucket. Her grandmother never needed a bucket – she would squeeze them between her fingers. She wasn’t brave enough to do that, but the final step of the task was to get rid of the bugs. So, she would go outside the front yard onto the road, throw them from the bucket and step on them, making sure that all of them are dead. This task was so unpleasant that she preferred just to pour some water into the bucket and wait until all of them drowned.

Her parents were telling her that Americans dropped bombs with beetles back in Soviet times. The memory triggered curiosity and she decided to do some research on how Colorado beetles got all the way to her village. Well, it looks like it started spreading from Europe back in 1859 onwards. Wikipedia also has a mentioning about the case: “In East Germany they were known as Amikäfer ('Yankee beetles') following a governmental claim that the beatles were dropped by American planes.” Well, most probably Americans didn’t throw any bombs with beetles. What a pity – this means that there is no one to blame for all these boring days of collecting unpleasantly looking bugs.