Lake City Graphic

November 14, 1901

The Box Elder Bug. Editor Graphic: Would you kindly give space in your valued columns to a discussion of the Box Elder Bug? We had hoped (Yes, we felt sure) that the snow and hard frost of the last few days would “fix ‘em,” but our poetical effort will tell how Mr. Bug felt about the matter. This forenoon while the sun was warm and bright we thought we would open the south door to let in the air and sunshine, but imagine our amazement when we saw hundreds, yes thousands, of those supposedly frozen Elders slowly but surely making for the parlor door. They reminded us of popocrats going to election, with this exception, they had neither green backs, bottles or cigars and all went afoot.

We thought we’d get even with a big hearty one we found on the lace curtain this morning. We pulled off his head, threw him on the floor and sat down to watch him die. Did he die? Not much. He lay on his back for a second or two, then slowly rolled over, picked up his head and crawled away, and this is a solemn fact. Any doubting Thomas should try the experiment and be convinced.

With the first burst of the sunshine,
On this bright November day,
The small but spry Box Elder Bug sang,
“Won’t you come out and play?”

He had been for two days quiet,
Packed in with snow and ice,
Which didn’t seem to bother him,
In fact he thought it nice.

As he slept and played at ‘possum,
While the housewife thought him dead,
As she swept him a dustpan,
And this is what she said:

“Oh Blessing on the snow storm
That killed this little pest,
Of all the kinds of weather,
A snow storm is the best.”

But, alas, she saw this morning,
A million bugs or more, All racing and all tumbling,
To get into the door.

So she stamped upon and killed them,
“till at least two dozen score
Were spotted on the carpet
And on the hard wood floor.

But still they kept on coming,
A hundred thousand more,
And the housewife kept on stamping
‘Til her feet were tired and sore.

Now if any kind philanthropist
Who loves his fellow men
Can invent some kind of poison
That will kill this bug, why then

He can count upon the blessings
Of a race of matrons glad,
Who have tried all kinds of methods
But have found that all were bad.

Now this not a falsehood,
But ‘tis a solemn fact,
That an Elder Bug thrown in the fire
Will find a hole or crack,

By which he works down throu’ the grate,
Midst ashes white and black,
And then crawls o’er the kitchen floor,
With ashes on his back.