Christmas beetles

Ok it wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t tell a tale about myself. Regulars will know that I am Australian born and bred. As kids we had the run of the neighbourhood … only two girls around my age who didn’t come out to play. So I ran with my four brothers and a large number of neighbourhood boys … cracker nights were monumental!

Have mentioned before that my father loved practical jokes so we grew up with the unexpected. My eldest brother and I loved to climb the two huge eucalypt trees down on the corner and gather all the Christmas beetles we could. Yes they are wondrous golden coloured critters gleaming with a rainbow sheen. These critters of nature love their freedom but were given little choice but to succumbed to our childlike ploys.

We’d gather as many as possible and gently place them in the largest milo tin in the downstairs dunny [toilet]. No animal was harmed in this process.

Father was relegated to the downstairs dunny for his longer stinky sessions as our indoor loo was in the bathroom. With our tribe 6-10 in a two bedroom home the door was seldom shut. There was often someone in the shower, the bath and on the loo at the one time … we’d scream loudly if a fourth tried to join us to brush their teeth.

 So it wouldn’t be long before father bound down the backstairs with his newspaper to have a quiet moment on his throne. Of course we had taken the lid off that tin so that our beautiful beetles could have full use of this small convenience. Once that door was opened they would swarm out battering the unsuspecting intruder.

So my love of nature was fostered from a young age

Photo from the internet .. these are fictional stories with a bit of truth woven in with a dose of Aussie humour!


  1. I adore eucalyptus trees! The bark is so smooth, climbing it must have been quite a task. The milo tin brought back some stinky memories for me too! You should put all these memories into a book Kate, your narrative is precious.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d have had a stroke and probably wet myself! I hope your dad was a good sport. (and glad to know that you didn’t get punished for the prank… Did you have to gather them back up and relocate them to the outdoors?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, my dad taught us not to remove any creature from where we found it. He said we might be separating a mom from it’s babies or it’s food source, etc. That stuck with me to this day.
        We, as kids, were always finding creatures and wanting to tote them home. 🙂

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  3. I’ve never heard of a Christmas beetle before – they look beautiful although I’m sure I wouldn’t think so if they were scurrying out of the bathroom when I really had to go! Who would have though you were an impish little girl? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me??? of course not Kate. I was the opposite. The boys in my street were either older – read pick on the little kid, or were younger – read I don’t want to play with babies so I hung out with my sister and the girls. Other than that a solitary kid engrossed in his own world

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love it! Tested the story out on husband and son and husband knew immediately what a Milo tin was while our son (left South Africa before he started school) looked on oblivious. Now the older members of the family are sitting here craving a cup of Milo. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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