the sphinx

Hello everyone. It is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here again to provide you with the most fascinating posts possible. You may remember me from such illuminating and generally magnificent posts as “Let the Whining Begin” and “Stinker’s Revenge”. Those were really excellent. That’s what you get when you are a purebred border collie. (I don’t have papers, though; I scarcely need them.)

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The guy I live with thought this was funny. The camera is reflected in my eyes which is why they look weird. His sense of humor is odd, to say the least.


So, well, actually, the reason why I’m doing this post is that the guy I live with says I have to learn to deal with scary things. Sometimes we have talks about the scary things we’ve both seen, and that makes me feel slightly better, but last night something happened that was so totally extra super mind-numbingly scary that I had to hide. I was all stretched out flat on the comfy Pottery Barn sheets the guy I live with bought for me, with the fan blowing cool air all over me, when the unimaginable happened.

A moth flew into my bedroom.

It started to flutter, and that’s when I had to hide. The guy I live with went into the garage to get the net my mommy made, and the flashlight (which he bought), and looked for the moth. Eventually he found it, grabbed it with his hand, and let it go out in the front yard. He said it tickled when he held it in his hand. He’s caught a lot of these so he’s an expert in this regard.

It was a sphinx moth. Hyles lineata. Or, if you insist, a hawk moth. Instead of showing flowers this time I’ll provide a link back to a post which shows my mommy’s watercolor of one of these horribly scary things. The watercolor is at the bottom of the post.

One time a wren flew into the bedroom and the guy I live with had to catch it with the net. That was just as scary.

People think that this is from a tomato worm, but that’s Manduca sexta, which is this moth right here. Much bigger, and, lucky for me, none has ever flown into my bedroom.


The guy I live with has shown these before. What I bet he hasn’t shown are pictures of the death’s head sphinxes in my mommy’s collection. If one of these flew into my bedroom, I bet that would be it for me.



Very scary. Years ago my mommy wanted a book called Sphingidae Mundi (sphinx moths of the world), and she ordered it from Tattered Cover. When she brought the book up to the counter, the guy I live with said to the checkout person that they’d probably never rung up a book with a price tag like that, and the checkout person said they’d rung up all kinds of expensive books, and then the guy I live with opened the dust jack and pointed to the $298 price tag and the checkout person gasped. My mommy really liked this book.


The guy I live with isn’t too interested in crawly things, like my mommy was, and his idea of sphinxes is more like this:

This is from Schumann’s Carnaval, and wasn’t intended to be played, just contemplated. It’s a riddle, really. My mommy would just say “Uh huh” when the guy I live with talked about musical riddles and such like.

At least the music didn’t have caterpillars that would fall onto the table when he and my mommy were eating lunch out on the back patio. That happened more than once. And it never flew into my bedroom just when I was getting all comfy.

That’s it for now. Here’s hoping you don’t find anything scarier than this in your day.


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2 Responses to the sphinx

  1. Chess, I, too, am terrified of moths. But not butterflies. Why is this?

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