Are you old enough to remember the Beanie and Cecil cartoon? They were cartoon puppets. Cecil was a friendly Sea Serpent. He regularly rescued Beanie Boy from the villain Dishonest John.
Back to my pet Praying Mantis. Every year in March- I buy a couple of cocoons full of eggs at the nursery. I put them in a jar-fitted with a sprouting lid- on the counter. When the babies hatch, they eat through the cocoon and are all over the inside of the jar. I wait until night fall to spread the babies throughout the garden. This gives them a chance to orient themselves, find some food and learn to hide before the birds come out to hunt in the morning.
One reason that they are my favorite is because they have a big appetite. They are very strong and will eat any bug (good or bad) that they can hold on to. Another reason is that even though they get pretty big, they seem pretty gentle and unafraid. It is common for them to crawl up our legs or allow us to pick them up. When I pick one up and talk to it, it will look at me and cock its head like it is listening to me. I like that in a bug, a pet or a husband. Steve says that it is looking at me like I am coo-coo. How do he know?
My Arizona friends keep telling me that these little beasties won’t last because the birds will eat them. The ants will kill them too. But my patience has been rewarded. Now it seems that there is not a day that I do not see at least one. They are all different sizes from 1/2 inch to 4 inches. So either they have started to call this place home and set up their nurseries, or someone else is setting them loose and they are coming into my backyard. Either way, I win!