I am really fascinated by the praying mantis. It is an expert hunter with an incredible gift of patience. Those things will perfectly sit and watch the same prey for hours, waiting for it to avert its attention or lower its defenses. Then, when the perfect opportunity has arisen, it will lunge and grab its prey with its strong claws.
The mantis’ focus on patience is mind-boggling. It can even get to the point where it is highly entertaining.
Take, for example, the two mantises in the picture at the top of this post. One of them was released from a jar where my siblings had imprisoned it. The other was plucked off of the face of our little, orange kitten. Apparently someone thought that it would be amusing to place both of them beside each other on the bird house.
They began by holding each other in a headlock. After awhile, both of them were able to escape the other’s grasp and retreat to a safer location. Ever since then, they have sat in the exact same position. Each insect watches the other carefully, waiting for the opportunity to strike. Both of them are waiting for the other to move, but neither one is going to do so. So they stand quietly. Watching. Staring into each other’s multi-faceted eyes.
Who knows how long they will stand there? Will one of them ever move? Will one finally give up and fly away? Or will they just sit there until a bird comes and eats them?