The other night something was bumping against the screen. It was a mantis, about the size of my index finger. There are a lot of mantises around here; this one is large, but not one of the really big ones. The little ones are only about half a centimeter long.
This morning I noticed Tlahuy looking at something on the ground, he bit at it, and pulled back. Amazing: when Tlahuy charges, nothing stops him. I looked and a mantis ~ maybe the same one trying to get through my screen, maybe its relative, but the same size ~ was in fighting stance and had stopped Tlahuy. Tlahuy has chased away a menacing Tibetan mastiff and scattered a whole pack of hunting dogs. This is the first time I have ever seen him stopped, and I was suitably impressed. I think the mantis scratched his nose or something, enough to give him pause… before he went at it with his paws. I called Tlahuy to halt, hoping to get a photo of the brave mantis facing down the dog. As I reached for the camera, Tlahuy glanced at me, and at that moment, the mantis leapt into the underbrush. Not just brave, but smart, too.
No wonder the mantis has won such admiration for its bravery. 古諸侯軾螳螂，以勵士志。