Karen Jordan, Tuck Mantooth

Holidays and Family Outings


Holidays bring memories of family get-togethers and outings for me. So, I wanted to share this humorous story from a young boy’s memorable family outing. Hope you enjoy it!

“A Mother’s Love”
by Tuck Mantooth

When I was very young in East Texas, we often visited a large lake just below a dam on the Neches River to go swimming.

I liked going there to dig in the white sand and make tunnels for my little red plastic trucks. So long as I stayed away from the water, I was free to dig, get dirty, and really enjoy myself.

To put a little fear in me about the fast current and deep water, my mother always told me, “Remember the little girl that drowned near Evadale (Texas) under the bridge.” [Actually, I didn’t want to die anyway.]

Big black beetle. I noticed once that there was a big black beetle digging alongside me in the sandy soil near the water. I took a stick and thumped her a few times before my mother scolded me, “Leave that nasty bug alone—it’s a ‘tumblebug’!”

The strange bug would roll up dirt into a ball larger than her own body. Then, she would stand on her head and try to push the little ball up the hill with her hind feet. After that, she would slip and tumble down to the bottom. I watched her over and over again.

Tumblebug? I know now that Mama called her a tumblebug because of how many times she rolled down that slope with that ball following behind her. Later, I found out that the tumblebug actually was not rolling up mud or dirt—I overheard Mama call it “dog poop.” No wonder Mama told me it was nasty!

I never saw anything work as hard as that beetle. What I didn’t know was that she had laid an egg in the center of that ball, and she was making sure it hatched and had something to eat—she was vigorously ensuring its survival.

Mama. I respected that tumblebug more after I realized how much she cared for her baby. And I wondered if my mama would have been willing to stand on her head and roll a big ball of dung up a hill for me. Probably not. She didn’t even like to cook!

Image courtesy of Christian Meyn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net “Beetle”

Did Tuck’s story remind you of a family outing from your childhood? If so, be sure to share your story with us in the comment space below. Look forward to hearing your stories!


1 thought on “Holidays and Family Outings”

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