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Quotations about Insects & Spiders
If you want to live and thrive, let the spider run alive. ~American Quaker Saying
Nothing seems to please a fly so much as to be taken for a currant; and if it can be baked in a cake and palmed off on the unwary, it dies happy. ~Mark Twain
We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics. ~Bill Vaughan
The chirping cricket has ceased its noise, and is asleep in its hiding-place. A little white miller is flying about the light as though he thought it the most wonderful thing in the whole world.... That's right, sweet creature, rest yourself and slumber, if you please, on the corner of that Holy Bible. He who wrote that book is as much your Father, as He is mine. At this silent hour and in this solitary place, you have come to minister to my delight. The thoughts which you have caused will make my rest this night more peaceful than it would have been but for you. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840
Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes? ~Author Unknown
The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.
Cockroaches really put my "all creatures great and small" creed to the test. ~Terri Guillemets
Some primal termite knocked on wood;
and tasted it, and found it good.
That is why your Cousin May
fell through the parlor floor today.
The mosquito is the state bird of New Jersey. ~Andy Warhol
Hurt no living thing:
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing.
~Christina Georgina Rossetti
Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. ~Bradley Millar
God in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.
~Ogden Nash, "The Fly"
Opening a window to let out a fly and ending up with thirty midges, three wasps, two bees and an owl. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)
No eye can detect the precise colour of the dragon-fly's wings as he darts in capricious flight and reflects the sunbeam from his irised mail... ~George H. Ellwanger, Meditations on Gout, 1897
Though snails are exceedingly slow,
There is one thing I'd like to know.
If I out run 'em round the yard,
How come they beat me to the chard?
If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito. ~Betty Reese
Large flocks of butterflies, all kinds of happy insects, seem to be in a perfect fever of joy and sportive gladness. ~John Muir, 1867 October 9th, A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf
I never could have thought of it,
To have a little bug all lit
And made to go on wings.
~Elizabeth Madox Roberts, "Firefly"
Clouds of insects danced and buzzed in the golden autumn light, and the air was full of the piping of the song-birds. Long glinting dragon-flies shot across the path, or hung tremulous with gauzy wings and gleaming bodies. ~Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
And a cloud of enraptured, sporting, buzzing little creatures of silk-dust swept or hovered over the undulating picture. ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky.
~Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Silent Noon
We are closer to the ants than to butterflies. Very few people can endure much leisure. ~Gerald Brenan
And what's a buterfly? At best,
He's but a ceterpillar, drest.
The dragon-fly is dancing,—
Is on the water glancing,
She flits about with nimble wing,
The flickering, fluttering, restless thing.
Besotted chafers all admire
Her light-blue, gauze-like, neat attire;
They laud her blue complexion,
And think her shape perfection...
~Heinrich Heine, "Die Libelle" (The Dragonfly), translated from German, in the The Athenæum: A Journal of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts, Music, and the Drama, 1855 March 31st [See other translations below for an interesting look at the difference a translator can make to writing. Also note: Although these two stanzas are lovely, the poem as a whole is not entirely beautiful in the same way, e.g. "My wings are gone—and I must mourn... And rot, and rot, in foreign mire," so do keep that in mind if you intend to quote this. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
On the waves of the brook she dances by,
The light, the lovely dragon-fly;
She dances here, she dances there,
The shimmering, glimmering flutterer fair.
And many a foolish young beetle's impressed
By the blue gauze gown in which she is dressed;
They admire the enamel that decks her bright,
And her elegant waist so slim and slight...
~Heinrich Heine, "Die Libelle," translated from German by Margaret Armour
The beauteous dragonfly's dancing
By the waves of the rivulet glancing;
She dances here and she dances there,
The glimmering, glittering flutterer fair.
Full many a beetle with loud applause
Admires her dress of azure gauze,
Admires her body's bright splendour,
And also her figure so slender...
~Heinrich Heine, "Die Libelle," translated from German into the original metre by Edgar Alfred Bowring
House, n. A hollow edifice erected for the habitation of man, rat, mouse, beetle, cockroach, fly, mosquito, flea, bacillus, and microbe. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
our wingèd, happy friends
Oh, to dance in the air
and float on the breeze...
When darkness descends on summer nights, the air around campfires, lanterns and cottage windows becomes filled with swirling moths seemingly intent on self destruction. The suicide fliers are drawn to the flames and light because they normally navigate a straight course by keeping constant the angle of moonlight or sunbeams falling on their eyes. Night lights created by humans disorient moths, causing them to flutter round and round the source without being able to get their bearings. ~Doug Bennet and Tim Tiner, Up North
I hate mosquitoes. I mean, I know I'm delicious but dang! ~Author unknown
[T]hese flowers, so fragrant, grew
And the birds and bees sipped sweet nectar
From the sparkling, morning dew.
God has blessed all beauties of Nature;
He's set His approval and seal
On all of His small, winged messengers
That fly through the air with such zeal.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Honeysuckle" (1940s)
We starve the rats, creosote the ticks, swat the flies, step on the cockroaches and poison the scales. Yet when these pests appear in human form we go paralytic. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
Two-legged creatures we are supposed to love as we love ourselves. The four-legged, also, can come to seem pretty important. But six legs are too many from the human standpoint. ~Joseph W. Krutch
If we were but conscious of our own utter littleness, we would not dare look with contempt on the smallest atom in the world. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840
Original post date 2004 May 23rd
Last modified 2016 Feb 02 Tue 17:10 PST