How the Toktokie Beetle of Africa Prays for a Drink
Nightly the chill Namibian sea
Sends a welcome onshore breeze
And with it a thick, wet fog,
Heaven’s gift of moisture
To the desert Skeleton Coast.
And here the well-named toktokie
Beetle prays with its legs in the air.
After an evening of love, clicking their
Tok-tok call to attract any willing mates,
They will climb to the crest of a dune,
Face east, bow their heads to the ground,-
Legs straight up, and pray to the god
Of water. Tiny fog-droplets
Gather on legs and carapace,
Awaiting sufficient mass
For gravity to pull them down
Toward a thousand thirsting mouths.
They drink until full, half-doubling
Their body weight, then burrow
Into the sand for a cooling
And contented day of rest.
Not a bad life, this.