A special divine favour
This praying mantis came across the parking lot, crawled across my shoe, up my leg, around the back of my leg and onto my bag / Sept. 2014
Perhaps this is exhibited nowhere more than in the class of insects called the "Praying Mantis"; this word mantis, you must know, comes to us from the Greek, and signifies "divine" or "diviner." In Central Africa it is an object of worship. Holding up its long front-legs as if in an attitutde of prayer, raised like arms to heaven, it appears the most saintly of insects; and among the superstitions of the poor Hottentos, if by any chance the praying mantis should happen to settle on his person it is considered a special divine favour, and the fortunate person so favoured immediately is looked upon as a saint.
~ from Solomon's Little People by James Crowther, 1882