Wetas are New Zealand insects, similar in size and shape to crickets, though unrelated.
They give a sharp nip, and the barbs on their back legs draw blood when they kick.
The tabby hunter brings trophies
inside: flapping butterflies,
crunched beetles, desperate birds,
disembowelled worms, struggling wetas.
She stops the bells on her collar ringing
no matter what Mummy does.
Mummy said don’t play with wetas,
they bite, their back legs make your
hand bleed when they kick.
The four year old, so fascinated by bugs,
stood staring at a weta on the floor.
It hopped on to her foot, her parents came
running at her piercing screams.
They tried to calm her, remove the weta,
but she ignored them.
Daddy wrapped one long arm
around her arms and shoulders,
the other long arm
around her legs.
Mummy gripped the leg with one hand
and slowly peeled off the sock.
She kept the sock around the weta,
took it out, tipped it on to a bush.
Clever Mummy !
At last the house was quiet again.
Mummy and Daddy leaned back,
exhausted, on the couch.
Grandad says someone should
explain to the tabby hunter that
wetas are indigenous,
protected by law.
But Tabby doesn’t care.