Cockchafer – a childhood memory

Cockchafer – a childhood memory


Shortly after we have crossed the boarder to the romanian county of Maramureş, a huge flying object bangs on our windscreen! Luckily undamaged it get’s over it, rearranges his legs and antennas, stretches its wings and takes off like a big and heavy blimp, that hangs vertical in its flight.

It is a cockchafer!!

Must have been ages since I last saw a cockchafer!!?? Feels like 25 years!!

And there it is, the childhood memory, clear and intense, of fresh green beech hedges, the sun in may getting warmer and that we kids set off for chasing cockchafers!

The little animals were to be found all over the richly gleaming beechleaves and easily crawled on your hands with their legs full of barbs. We collected them in holey shoe-boxes to free them again after the count resulted in an official winner.

I can’t remember why we did all this, besides electing a champion. Games like compiling earthworm farms or building dams of sludge. Definitely it was wonderful, wild and a little bit naughty besides creating goose-bumps at every touch of the seemingly sticky little legs.

I don’t have a clue how things look for the cockchafer in Germany or elsewhere, in Maramureş their situation seems to be excellent!

Even today I can feel our childlike fun deep within as during the last days one of the huge bugs flew past my head, humming as loud that his volume filled the silence completely that otherwise was only broken by crickets, chicken and the occasional barking of the dogs.

And another memory soars up, later in time, during high-school, biology-class about the topic of different types of blood-circulation. Our teacher, crazy but funny, explained that the cockchafer has the simplest system of all species. Like a small barrel full of blood, circulating by rocking and rolling in the air and that you could probably cut off the back of his shell in a delicate surgical way and install a whisk. The cockchafer would live on…What a stupid idea!

Childhood….we didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun!

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