On Sunday we drove up to Tahlequah, Oklahoma for a sad occasion. A traveling companion joined us. No, it wasn’t my aunt or sister although they were both in the car.
It was this little spotted ladybug. We discovered her on the passenger window almost as soon as we left town. My first instinct was to let her go free, but I couldn’t roll down the window and allow her to escape for fear that the wind at its magnitude would kill her. Killing a ladybug is believed to be bad luck. I don’t really know if the wind whipping a ladybug out of a cracked window at 70 mph is considered murder, but I wasn’t risking it. So she stayed put and occasionally would fly from one side of my vehicle to the other.
Ladybugs are reported to be good fortune. Almost every culture in the world believes in the luck of the ladybug.
The legend of the ladybug from around the world:
- In France, if a Ladybug landed on you, whatever ailment
you had would fly away with the Ladybug.
- If the spots on the wings of a Ladybug are more than seven,
it’s a sign of coming famine. If less than seven, it means
you will have a good harvest.
- In Brussels, the black spots on the back of a Ladybug indicate to the
person holding it how many children he/she will have.
- In some Asian cultures, it is believed that the Ladybug understands
human language, and has been blessed by God, Himself.
- During the Pioneer days, if a family found a Ladybug in their log cabin
during the winter, it was considered a “Good Omen”.
- Folklore suggests if you catch a Ladybug in your home, count the number
of spots and that’s how many dollars you’ll soon find.
I hate to admit that I’m a tad bit superstitious. We let this ladybug ride with us for the duration of the trip. I figure if a ladybug brings a little luck, the longer she’s with you, the more luck you might receive.
I have a memory of being a little girl when my sister and I discovered a lot of ladybugs. What is the proper term for a lot of ladybugs? A gaggle, a herd, a flock?
My sister and I loved the ladybugs and wanted to keep them, so we ripped off their little black wings from under their polka-dotted shell so they couldn’t fly away. We didn’t do it out of a mean spirit, just out of a desire to keep them. We wanted to love them, and hold them, and pet them. It’s a bit like Lenny in Of Mice and Men, who squeezed that puppy so much, he killed it out of love.
When we told my mom what we had done, she was appalled. I’ll never forget it. “How would you feel if someone pulled off your legs and you couldn’t go anywhere,” she guilted us. It worked. I feel bad about it to this day.
This particular ladybug journeyed with us 6 1/2 hours to a new land.
I hope she’s made new friends there.
And maybe she left a little luck behind for us.
‘Cause who couldn’t use a little luck?