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To give a 9 year old boy a stick insect as a present (in a jar, not free)

(107 Posts)
pingu2209 Sat 02-Feb-13 13:27:02

From my son as the boy's birthday present.

I really thought the boy would like it, but other mum's looked aghast!

insanityscratching Sat 02-Feb-13 14:17:34

I would have given it straight back tbh because ultimately it should be a parent's choice whether or not they want a pet in the house. I can't cope with insects and I wouldn't have wanted to fork out for somewhere for it to live either.

aufaniae Sat 02-Feb-13 14:17:36

Ah, you've got me wanding off down memory lane! grin ...

I was given 20p to go buy what I liked at the school fair when I was little.
I came back with a jar of stick insects! (Price: exactly 20p grin)

I was absolutely delighted!

Mum, not so much. grin

Despite my young age, I did have the foresight to ask the people on the stall if they were girls or boys, knowing I didn't want to breed them. "They're all girls" they said to me. This was a cruel trick!

They did not say that the reason they had so many of the bloody things to sell was that they do pathogenesis, meaning they can just reproduce without the need for another gender.

We had them a few months IIRC. I loved them. I was into Enid Blyton at the time and called them all boyish girls names, (Roberta, Georgia, etc).

We looked them up in a book (no internet!) and it said they liked a particular leaf that our neighbours had, so I used to lean over the wall and stell leaves off the bush blush (Surprised my mum sanctioned this now!).

We didn't get as far as mass reproduction though luckily as the cat managed to get into the jar one day and there was stick insect armageddon. For weeks later we were finding half-dead stick insects with 3 legs crawling out of the sofa sad

<pulls self out of memory lane>

Sorry OP, back to your question! You should have really checked first, although I bet the kid loves them! I would advise calling the mum, and asking if you can offer any advice on looking after them. Also apologise for not thinking it through, and say you hope she's OK with it.

Having said that, assuming she is OK with it, I agree it's an infinitely better present than plastic tat.

Incidentally, what do you do when they start breeding exponentially? I'm curious!

Icelollycraving Sat 02-Feb-13 14:17:57

Yabvu. I'd be really pissed off. They don't live in a jar,they need proper tank & to be cared for. No responsible adult would do this surely? shock
Is this a reverse Aibu?

aufaniae Sat 02-Feb-13 14:18:43

*wandering and parthenogenesis!


Cherriesarelovely Sat 02-Feb-13 14:20:23

YABU. You shouldn't give pets as presents without asking parents first.

LadyMargolotta Sat 02-Feb-13 14:21:43

Of course, with the parents' agreement, it is a good present (or would be if itcame with an appropiate tank rather then just a jar).

We've been given a rabbit and guinea pigs as presents, but they checked with me first, and gave a cage, sawdust, straw, food etc as presents along with the actual animal (although we did make a hutch and enclosure ourselves).

NatashaBee Sat 02-Feb-13 14:22:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zukiecat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:37:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyInPink Sat 02-Feb-13 14:45:30

We were given stick insects as a present a few years ago (DD was 5) but it came in a set with a mesh viv and magnifying glass etc and all the tips you needed to keep them. I didn't mind as I'm allergic to animals and this way DD got a pet that she could actually pet that didn't make me sneeze grin

They bred very quickly and we ended up having them for at least a year (actually I believe it was about two) but the privet was hard to find in the winter so we stopped keeping the eggs until the last one died. When they are small they are cute but I was pretty terrified of the great big grandaddy ones.

They 100% need a proper mesh viv, a glass jar will not do at all as they can't climb up there easily and a jar is too small plus there's no air as there has to be a lid or they'll escape.

Another friend got the same set and she quietly got rid of it as her DH grew up with them and he shudders still at the memory of them climbing up the bathroom wall so refused his DS to keep it.

I quite fancy the butterfly one but would never give as a present unless I was sure the parent was happy. DD got sea monkeys too but i was asked first.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Sat 02-Feb-13 14:58:08

I would have shrieked and dropped the jar! Hate stick insects and most other insects you are being vvvvvvvvvvu.

Meglet Sat 02-Feb-13 15:03:16

Yabu. I'd be very pissed off too.

It's another responsibility for her. And space to keep it.

YouOldSlag Sat 02-Feb-13 15:18:37

YABU. I can't belive you idn't discuss this with the parents first. It's actually rude as its giving them another job to do.

YouOldSlag Sat 02-Feb-13 15:18:55

sorry about typos

DeafLeopard Sat 02-Feb-13 15:22:20

What YouOldSlag said

MurderOfGoths Sat 02-Feb-13 15:27:27

What a casual uncaring way to treat a living creature sad

MrsDeVere Sat 02-Feb-13 15:28:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sat 02-Feb-13 15:32:20

I think u were b u but that you had good intentions and I'm sure u just didn't think it through. Although its "just a stick insect" to some, it is still a living creature and deserves to be kept in a humane way and looked after correctly. If I were you I'd offer to take the insect back or provide adequate housing to the birthday boy for him and print off some care instructions,

lljkk Sat 02-Feb-13 17:55:53

oh ffs, don't get started with the animal welfare slant: it's a Bug. MN is replete with stories about gleefully killing wasps, spiders, slugs, headlice & other unwanted crawlies. Never mind how carnivorous most of us are.

I agree it's a bit thoughtless not to check with parents first.

EnjoyResponsibly Sat 02-Feb-13 18:04:49

I would have killed you outright.


MrsDeVere Sat 02-Feb-13 18:04:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 02-Feb-13 18:06:32


You don't give a pet as a gift. Obviously.

Stick insects don't live in jam jars.

countrykitten Sat 02-Feb-13 18:25:24

You have been rude and foolish and I would have given you a piece of my mind as pets should never be given as presents.

How depressingly stupid of you.

countrykitten Sat 02-Feb-13 18:25:57

And as for the jam jar....shock

eatyouwithaspoon Sat 02-Feb-13 18:26:16

They live wild in my neck of the woods (SW), I guess they must have been chucked out at some stage and as its mild they survive - I often see them in the garden. Gave me quite a surprise the 1st time I saw one. They get big too, the type in our garden get as long as my hand and you couldnt keep that in a jar - poor sticky sad

firesidechat Sat 02-Feb-13 18:31:29

If you really did give someone a stick insect in a jar then YABU. I think that it's fairly safe to say that living, breathing gifts should always without fail be discussed first.

Do they now have to buy a tank and whatever else a stick insect needs? Bet they are delighted with that!

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