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Madame Chamberlaine: Bugging Out!

Tzipie Wolner

In three hours we had seven jars filled with insects and one reptile. Looking at all the creepy-crawlies, I thought that this wasn’t exactly my idea of fun, but it wasn’t too bad either.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Photo: Nechama Leibler

We were B-O-R-E-D! It was Sunday, which means no day camp. 

My parents were off to a chasunah somewhere in “Too-far-away-for-kids-to-come-along-ville,” so we were stuck at home. Monsieur Two-Meh-Two was staying with us at night so my big brothers would have company. Yeah, we had crayons and chalk and markers, but when it’s shmoiling hot out there, who’s in the mood for coloring? 

Our neighbors came over, but we just sat and schmoozed on the porch steps, and the boredom didn’t really go away. 

“That’s it!” I decided when they left. “Shuly, we must do something. This is ridiculous!” 

“Okay, sis. Whatever you say, I’ll do.” 

I watched an ant crawl across my canvas sneaker. “Aren’t ants ever bored?” 

Shuy laughed. “If you’re asking that question you must be really, really bored.” 

I jumped up. “Hey! I know! Let’s make a zoo!” 

“A zoo? Where are you finding lions and tigers?” 

“No, Shuly, we’ll make a zoo with insects! We’ll collect them in jars and we can have all the kids in the neighborhood come visit.” 

Shuly looked at me in shock.

Photo: Nechama Leibler

“You?! You’ll collect all the insects? You can’t even look at bugs without washing your hands, remember?” 

“No, not me! You will collect them and I’ll tape up the jars really well.” 

“Well. What a lovely sister you are, letting me take care of all the creepy crawlies! FYI, I also don’t like anything with more than two feet.” 


Back to the land of boredom 

“Y’know, let’s wear gloves and then we can collect them together!” 

Shuly stared at me. “Are you serious?” 

“Do you have any better ideas? Come on!” 

I ran inside to get rubber gloves. I found a thick, sturdy pair. I wouldn’t even be able to feel the ants with these things on. 

With our hands safely snug in our gloves we were ready. We trudged to the playground with a pile of jars. 

“Hope Mommy won’t miss these jars,” Shuly said. 

“She better not!” 

“Okay,” Shuly asked. “What do we collect first?” 

“Ants are gross, but not too gross.” 

“And we collect them with…?” 

“I guess we don’t really have many choices,” I said. “Our hands, I guess.” 


“We’re wearing gloves, remember?” 

“I’ll sit myself here on the bench and watch you,” Shuly said.

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