This afternoon, Kiyeong came home from school with this cunning "little" guy:
Beetles like our new one are the pet of choice for many Korean youngsters. Many of my students have them and bring them to school fairly regularly. Parents like them because they're extremely low maintenance and don't smell, dirty, or damage a home--they're kind of like the beta fish of Korea. Kiyeong introduced us by coming into my room and tossing his new pet onto my arm. His feet are kind of clawed so it hurts a bit when he crawls around on bare skin. So far he's been put on my arm, my lap, all over my "bed," my wall (he can cling to vertical surfaces with his little claws), and in my hair. The poor guy spent most of the day being placed on his back by Kibeom and Kiyeong (so they can watch him flail around trying to flip over) or put on random things (usually me or themselves). When they pick him up again, they have to pretty much rip his little claws away from whatever he's on. I'm trying (by positive example and disapproval of their roughness) to teach them to be gentle with him, but it's only a matter of time before one of his legs gets ripped off.
The yellow stuff in the pictures, which we refer to as "jelly," is supposed to be his food. The white container--which he can crawl right out of--was supposed to be his home, but after imagining myself rolling over and accidentally crunching him in my sleep (possibly one of the grossest things I've ever imagined), I convinced the boys it would be fun to build him a house. We emptied out a cagelike marker container and went outside to fill it with dirt, leaves, and sticks. In addition to keeping him from roaming the apartment, his new home so far serves as protection against the boys--watching him play around with his dirt, leaves, and sticks (by "play around with," I pretty much just mean "hide under." Pet beetles are about as exciting as they sound) is almost as fun as torturing him, so they've backed off considerably.
We're trying to come up with a good name for him. Any ideas?