About two weeks ago Aunt Susan and Lamar found a rhinoceros beetle outside. Aunt Susan being the animal lover she is saved him and thought of my class. She called and asked if I would want it as a class pet. My first thoughts were no way, yuck, disgusting. The teacher in me then came out and I thought what a great opportunity to study its adaptations since we were just finishing our unit on animal adaptations. Dad went and got the beetle from Aunt Susan and I was now the proud owner of a pet beetle.
When I introduced it to my class they had the same reaction as I did, grossed out! Then after warming up to it a little they LOVED it. They were calling him pet names and even named him Keowee because they knew he was found over near my parents' house. The kids held him and we researched about rhinoceros beetles. Who knew they were a common pet for people to have. He really was beautiful. His shell looked like it was hand painted.
Sadly, he died after only about a week and a half. I don't know why he didn't survive. He was the most spoiled beetle ever. One little girl brought in organic mangoes, apples, and grapes. I don't even eat organic food and this little guy was chowing! The kids would hold him and let him "tickle" them on their hands. One day he was not responsive, I thought he was just sleeping, but he didn't move when we touched him. After another day of comatose we decided he had gone to beetle heaven.
I decided we should have a funeral for him. I brought in a box and we wrote RIP Keowee on it. Yesterday we had his funeral. It was hilarious. The kids were so serious about it. We had a long procession line. I dug a hole and we placed him in it. One little boy said we should have a moment of silence to remember his life. We all bowed our heads and stood on the top of a hill by our school silently. I looked up and all 22 of my students had their heads bowed and hands crossed. When I ended the tribute to Keowee one little boy asked if he could say a few words. I said sure. He went on to shout, "Oh Lord!!! Why did you have to take him? He was so young, only 1 1/2 weeks!!! I hope you enjoy heaven Keowee! I'll see you when I get there!" It was the funniest thing I have seen in awhile. That was followed by a little girl placing flowers on his grave.
Needless to say my days at work are NEVER boring. RIP Keowee, we will miss you!