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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

DRAGONFLIES

DRAGONFLIES
Many people think dragonflies are fascinating.  Many people like dragonflies as they eat annoying insects, including mosquitoes.  Dragonflies creep me out.  I do not like dragonflies.  They used to scare the beJesus out of me.
Why would I fear a harmless to humans insect?
When I was about five, a vulnerable age, a friend informed me that dragonflies were called darning needles, or even more specifically Devil’s Darning Needles.  At any age, but at five for sure, the moniker “Devil” is always a bit concerning.  Add to that, this friend informed me that darning needles were capable of firing sharp needles from a distance and the tips of these needles were poisonous.  They were painful and they could kill you.
After I received this information I always avoided dragonflies.  When I saw one, which was often, in the summer, I would duck, run or hide.  It always amazed me that no one else ever seemed afraid of these deadly insects.
When I was ten or eleven I ran and ducked from a dragonfly and my brother asked what was wrong.  I informed him about the danger of the Devil’s Darning Needle.  He told me I was full of crap, that in the history of the world, a dragonfly has never hurt a human.
“They don’t sting or bite, and they sure as Hell don’t fire poisonous darts from a distance.”
 Well I knew he was telling the truth.   The only time my brother would lie to me would be to scare the crap out of me for sport, like the time he told me there were wild boars waiting in the bushes to gore people.
on Catalina Island and the goats on the island were man eaters.  If he told me something was actually harmless, then it must be harmless.
So, at the age of eleven I was no longer scared of dragonflies, but they creeped me out and still do, because when an idea is planted in a five-year-old brain, it never completely goes away.
Except for Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, be careful what you teach your children.  Some fears and prejudices never go away completely. 

24 comments:

  1. I wonder what it is with young people lying to small children? My teenage uncle told me dragonflies were called 'sewing needles' and they would sew my eyes and my mouth shut. I was terrified for several years.

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  2. I always tended to tell the truth to the kids when they were younger. We didn't do the Santa Claus thing or the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy. Both haven't been in extensive therapy, so maybe we did the right thing?

    betty

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  3. I love dragonflies and always have. Daughter K does too and has one tattooed somewhere, a foot I think, or an ankle. I don't recall any ideas from childhood that scared me right into adulthood, I don't have many fears at all. I remember my dad telling my 'Borscht" a soup made from beetroots I think, was actually blood soup and I've never had the slightest interest in trying it because of that, black puddings too, he told me they were blood puddings. Maybe they are, maybe they're not, but I'm never eating one.

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  4. It is such a shame that older children lie to younger ones. Perhaps it makes them feel big. I don't think I have ever seen a dragonfly... perhaps we don't have them where I live. I love to watch insects so long as they don't come on me!

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  5. While i taught my children some insects are to be killed on sight because they are pests (roaches, flies, mosquitoes, etc.), i did try to instill in them a respect for the good bugs, and for spiders that eat the bad bugs.

    Dragonflies are colorful and seem to dance when they fly, so i'm sorry you were turned against them at such a young age.

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  6. It's too bad that negative impressions never fully left you. I was afraid of them too, as a child. My sister liked to scare me with similar stories. :) I love them now (as does my sister). And I'm especially fascinated with them ever since I saw a brand new hatch of hundreds dancing in the late-day sunlight at a lake. It was magical and beautiful. And their colourful bodies appeal to the photographer in me.

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  7. You mean they don't really come and dew your lips together if you tell a lie??

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  8. I've always been mesmerized by their iridescence and design. But there are some things I learned to fear in childhood that I'm still afraid of.

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  9. My Grandmother called them the Devil's Darning Needle too and said that if you told a lie it would sew your lips up.

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  10. As a child I was always afraid for Piranha fish and quicksand. The thought of the two still do not fit easy with me.
    Lisa

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  11. I tie a fly that is meant to imitate a dragonfly. Trout that live in lakes eat them like candy. Same with their smaller cousin, the damselfly.

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  12. Wow, I never heard such scary tales when I was a kid. My brothers prided themselves being myth busters. Thus Santa, Easter Bunny and tooth fairy left my imagination really early.

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  13. I love dragonflies. They are amazing, but spiders and snakes will have me moving quickly in the other direction. I think we are all afraid of something from our childhood experiences.

    Have a dragonfly free day, Joe. ☺

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  14. Some of the kids where I grew up called them 'sewing bugs', and the word was that they'd sew your eyes shut while you sleep.

    Simpleton that I was, I just thought they looked like little helicopters. . . ;)

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    1. I still think they look like helicopters!!

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  15. I'm surprised by the similar dragonfly stories. I grew up just thinking they were neat,

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  16. Whenever a fire truck went past our house, my sister used to tell me they were coming to take me away to the loony bin. I'm still scared of sirens.

    I think someone told me once that dragonflies bite or sting, because for years I was convinced that they could give you a nasty bite.

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  17. I don't care if they are harmless, they are still kind of creepy.
    R

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  18. I can't say that I blame you for being creeped out by them, even now that you know better you will always avoid them at all cost.

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  19. I don't mind them one way or another. Never heard them called any other name than dragonfly. As a kid, I found them entertaining while waiting for a fish to bite, landing on my fishing pole and line.

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  20. I have seen them flying around, but tell the truth I never did know that their head look like a dragon since you posted a picture I will notice next time. lol.

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  21. We have many dragon flies here and I enjoy them. Never had them in San Francisco. Hey if they eat annoying bugs, I am their best friend.

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  22. I think they look kinda cool, they way they hover. I'm always trying to get a picture of them.

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