Okay, so this isn't actually a collectible item. It's a picture of one of my favorite "pet" praying mantids from the past. 1979 to be exact.
I didn't name very many of my mantids. When I was a kid and I had a backyard full of them, naming them seemed pointless. The same thing holds true today. But for a while, between my teens and early twenties, I was busy building my life as an adult, and I didn't have nearly as much access to bugs. So when I made the effort to raise one, it became a big deal, and I would give it a name. Actually, I think my boss named him Virgil.
She was a strange woman, my boss. But she liked bugs, and she encouraged me to bring Virgil to work with me. There was a little garden between the storefront and the shop out back where he could hang out. And that fall, Jerry and I brought Virgil with us on a weekend getaway to a mountain cabin.
Sometime between the weekend in the cabin (October) and my wedding (December), I released him. He was getting old, and I wanted him to finish his life as a free mantis.