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What is a Doodle Bug?

Sandy soil is the home of doodle bugs; they like underneath houses, where it is dry and soft. They construct traps to catch their food, like small insects and ants. These small, carnivorous worms or bugs are a favored- food of chickens.

They have heads that are all penchers. After they build those inverted come traps, they hide under them in the sand. When “food” drops into the cone, their penchers are on-ready.

When a chicken finds a doodle bug, it inhales the whole bug. In protest, the bug bites the chicken’s throat. When this happens, the chicken can’t swallow the bug. Hence, the name of these doodle bugs are also chicken chokers.

And you are thinking why in the Sam hill am I talking about doodle bugs and chicken chokers?

John and I were over at Brattonsville for the day this past Saturday; it was Children’s Day at the Farm. Children of all ages were planting seeds, petting sheep, plowed a garden behind two horses, etc. They had a fun day.

One of the interpreters watched the children and the chickens. When he came by our table, he and John started this conversation about doodle bugs. I needed an interpreter, so John filled me in. I was amazed at these creatures and their place in the food chain.

The two men went on to talk about playing with the doodle bugs as children. They would entice the bugs by putting a blade of grass in their traps. Of course, the bug grabbed the grass and entertained the boys. (In this digital world we live in, I would think that this would still be a good time,)

Oddly enough, I used to call one of my brothers “doodle bug.” It was purely a term of endearment and affection. Looking back with new information today, maybe I would have chosen another word.

Some of you might might remember that the Volkswagon Beetle of the 1960’s was called a doodle bug. I knew about that definition, also.

I can see John and his brothers playing with doodle bugs underneath their house. It gives me another picture of his growing-up years and his love for nature.

But I don’t think I will look for doodle bugs around our house; I am not on the friendliest of terms with bugs, doodle or otherwise.

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelld all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
― Roald Dahl, Matilda

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