Dragonflies and Chicken Parts

There is a dragonfly in my freezer.

At the school my sons attend, the infamous “bug project” gets assigned in fifth or sixth grade. Every child is expected to build a collection of dead bugs, pin them to poster board and then do a presentation.

Some kids have the advantage of having scientists or outdoorsmen as parents. Some have mountain homes where I swear the bugs are significantly larger. Others will travel to exotic places and then illegally smuggle equally exotic insects back in their suitcases. My kids will benefit from none of that. And I don’t like bugs.

So yesterday, when I walked outside to pick up the Sunday paper and saw a perfect dragonfly upside-down on the sidewalk, I put it in a sandwich bag and stuck it in the freezer.

It only twitched once.

What my kids will benefit from is a mother who starts early. They are in third and fourth grade. Which means, I have a dragonfly in my freezer now for at least a year and a half.

I have since been bemoaning the fact that science teachers seem to enjoy coming up with projects that drive mothers crazy. This year, my son claims he will get to touch a human brain.

And there’s a dragonfly taking up freezer space.

Then I remembered my third grade science teacher. We dissected chickens, and then had Charlie’s Special (which is chicken chow mein) for school lunch. And the best thing was… we got to bring home chicken parts – gizzards and hearts and tracheas and legs and whatever we wanted.

Our garage smelled for months.

And I thought, my mom put up with smelly chicken parts for me. The least I can do is stash a dragonfly in my freezer.


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