Since the early sunrise he had been fighting amongst and against them. He was making progress. Slowly but steadily.
It was meant to be the day of his life. The last day. No matter the outcome, his journey would come to an end here. Everything would be over. For him anyway.
But it was for his children that he was fighting, for his family, for his dynasty. And for love of course. The ultimate love. She was up there. Ever present.
All of them could hear her, feel her. Calling them. Making them push onward, striving towards her.
He didn't actually fight any of the others. And neither did they. It was more like a race, run recklessly but without contempt. He was searching his way, fighting when he was blocked but simply struggling on as soon as it was free.
He was getting higher, perceiving her voice the more and more distinct, feeling her presence the more and more intense. He felt himself vibrating, rushing on. Far beneath, on the lower levels, he could see the masses. Those who were lost in the innumerable dead ends, those trailing hopelessly behind and all those lying around not moving anymore, exhausted, extinguished. Their journey, their quest was over. Their life. Everything.
He turned around another corner. He was very close now. Her presence was all around. Filling him with great joy and seemingly unlimited energy. He felt like flying towards her. Everything was clear to him now. He knew that he was the chosen one. He climbed the last step and there she was. The queen. His queen.
He stood still. Mesmerized. She was perfect. The incarnation of beauty.
She had been waiting for him. She neither stopped singing nor did she move when her large eyes caught sight of him. But the tone of her voice altered in a way that he knew that she was only singing for him now. And all the others knew it, too. For them it was over. Lost. Dead. Not immediately but the more painful the longer it lasted.
She was welcoming him. Inviting him. He moved slowly. The race was forgotten and the last part of the quest began. He had to be wise, had to prove worthy. If his heart was pure, she would recognize it through his humility. The slightest trace of pride would cause failure.
But he worshiped her greatness, her divinity. He was grateful and humble, moving closer carefully. When he was in reach to touch her, the chanting came to an end. For a moment, they just observed each other. They recognized each other. And themselves. Everything was there, they found themselves at the source of the Universe. They understood and they agreed.
Ever so delicately, they started to dance. Without any sound. Feeling and following the Divine rhythm.
The first touch was like the discovery of a whole new world. They suddenly realized that they had not been whole before. Here was their missing part. The other side of the mirror. Completion. Perfection.
They let themselves flow, all aware of their own body and movements and becoming the more and more aware of the other one's.
They became closer and closer, letting it happen in a since unknown passive and active way at the same time. They followed the Universal rules. Because it was them.
They slowed down when they were ready to unite. Time stretched. The moment was saturated, concentrated. While focusing ever more closely, the big picture became ever more clear. No more question. Only revelation.
But yet again, his quest had not come to an end. When he entered her on the physical level, his spirit needed to stay pure, needed to stay here, needed to stay with her. No faltering. No doubt. No fear. Confidence. Trust. Faith.
He gave himself. Surrendered his self. His boundaries disappeared. He disintegrated into Her. Back into Earth. Into Heaven.
She welcomed him and, delivering him full of mercy and grace, she cut off his head.
For her, the quest just begun. She would bring up their fruit of love, keep the circle of life going. Alone. She needed to be strong. She was a queen but life was hazardous. To strengthen herself, to make his breed grow inside of her, it was only appropriate to integrate his physical remains. Consequently, his former material would be part of, would continue to live through his children. And eventually his grand children. And many more generations to come, in the never ending cycle of nature.
But a girl had been watching the mating of the mantis religiosa and, struck by the horror and disgust that she perceived in her heart, she squashed the queen with a stone.
The female of the mantis religiosa (praying mantis) and other mantidae, relatively often eats the male after or even during the long lasting copulation (around one out of four times). Science proposes different reasons for this behavior:
- The male is an additional source of protein. The eggs of females who have eaten their partners, can be bigger and more numerous.
- After the decapitation, the mating movement of the male can become even more vigorous in its delivery of sperm since the responsible nervous system is not in the head but in the abdomen. The efficiency of the copulation can thus be increased.
Albouy, Vincent (2015). Histoires remarquables – les insectes. Paris: Delachaux et Niestlé.
Dettner, Konrad (2003). Lehrbuch der Entomologie. München: Spektrum.