photos by Samara Pearlstein
Here is a true story.
Yesterday a friend of mine came back to the studios after a trip to the grocery store. “Sam,” he said. “I have a present for you. It’s alive.” He opened his little Stop & Shop bag and there, standing on his groceries, looking up at me, was the most splendid creature imaginable.
IT’S A FREAKIN’ FULL-GROWN GORGEOUS LIVE PRAYING MANTIS. IN MY STUDIO.
Of course most of you by now know about the whole ‘mantises showing up at baseball games’ thing, how lucky this is, etc. Most of you also know that despite my interest in and love for this phenomenon, I have yet to see a mantis at a baseball game in person, and in fact had never seen one in the wild (somehow, despite the fact that everyone else seems to be finding them all the time). So this– a mantis, standing on my very own hand, waving its raptorial forelegs in my very own face, staring fixedly straight into my heart– mere hours before the Tigers were set to play the Royals with a Magic Number of 1…
It was magical, and joyous, and my little Tigers-fan heart was buoyed up with sickening things like Hope and Belief and Love For This Stupid Infuriating Team. My faith in the Tigers’ ability to not screw everything up and actually make the playoffs, which had been shaky at best going into the day, was strengthened. Because MANTIS.
You know what’s even crazier? I have a very large drawing in progress in my studio right now, and what is the largest figure on the left-hand side, standing just over Curtis Granderson and Stephen Jay Gould? YOU’RE RIGHT IT’S A FREAKIN’ MANTIS.
Of course the Tigers went on to defeat the Royals and secure the AL Central Championship. They have won the division. They are going to the playoffs. How could it have ever been otherwise, once a mantis appeared in my life?