We have dung beetles.
As the custodian of three well-fed little furchildren, I'm somewhat of a fan of dung beetles, so when I and the pups stepped into the back-yard this morning I confess to getting a warm feeling from seeing several little balls of ... stuff ... meandering across the yard.
The dogs, on the other paw -- well, let us say that reactions were ... mixed.
Mochi sneezed and wandered off with the air of, "Meh, sometimes poo moves." Chuy, of course, admonished his new little sister that the poo was not, in fact, "moving" but was being moved by a beetle of the family Scarabaeidae. Praline's reaction was true to form: "It's moving?! Poo isn't supposed to move! Kill it with fire!"
I admit to chuckling a bit as I chivvied the dogs off to do their business ... until I noticed that there were two perfect little spheres of what came out of a south-bound pup which had apparently been rolled along the concrete walkway until progress had been halted by the -- also -- concrete back step. Two shiny metallic beetles leaning against their cargo, apparently completely bumfuzzled.
Great, I think to myself, I finally get some dung beetles, but they had to ride the short bus to my house. Just my luck.
This initial impression was not hindered in the slightest by the sight of yet a third ball trundling industriously along to (already mentioned) concrete walkway until it fetched up against the (I think I mentioned this earlier) concrete steps with a fairly authoritative smack.
A mental image of a short little guy in a Haz-Mat suit, gas-mask knocked awry, looking with some puzzlement over his load was abruptly cut short as the other two beetles ceased leaning against their respective balls, scooted over to the new-comer and promptly proceeded to kick the ever-loving whey out of him.
May I say, as a connoisseur of the Art of the Toad-Stomp, that had to be one of the most thorough butt-whippings I have ever borne witness to, ending with Beetle #3 hauling carapace in the general direction of Somewhere Else.
And it finally hit me: the purplish tint of Beetle #1 and #2; the leaning against their work; the general sneer attitude I fancied I could feel directed towards me.
I don't have developmentally-challenged dung beetles.
I have unionized dung beetles. My sodding back-yard is Bugscuffle Local #Whatever of the Scarab Extortionists International Union.