This was the coolest praying mantis ever! I don't think I've seen one this big before, and I swear it was tame! The kids all sat in a circle, and I set the praying mantis down in the middle of the circle onto the floor. Instead of trying to run away, it would hop over to one of the kids and climb into his or her hand. It climbed all over all the kids and touched their hair and faces with its amazing, little hands. Riley stood in the circle instead of sitting down, so the praying mantis hopped over to Riley, climbed his pants leg, went up his shirt, and sat on his shoulder rubbing on Riley's long hair. It was just amazing to watch! The twins are usually cautious around animals and creatures of all sorts, but this guy (actually probably a girl) was so friendly, they warmed right up to it. Ephraim was fascinated, although I didn't let him touch it. I was afraid he might love on it just a bit too hard. I had a hard time getting pictures of it because each time I would squat down to take a picture, it would run towards me, and once it saw the flash, it wanted to investigate the camera. The kids all played with it for over an hour before we took it back outside, and not once during that time did the mantis ever try to run away!
I'm a work-at-home mom of thirteen children ranging in age from twenty-six years old to five months old. Eight are home grown and five were adopted internationally (Russia, Guatemala, Vietnam and Ethiopia). We live on an 85-acre farm, and we have home schooled since 1986. My husband is a family physician in solo practice. I manage his practice and file the insurance claims.