The 'S hertogenbosch Messenger Beetle, or more commonly known as the Coribug, is one of the cities best kept fantastical secrets. With its sleek star covered shell and it's brightly colored legs, this neverbug is known to give speedy messages to far away lands record time, making it extremely useful to both spies and dignitaries alike. Most locals would deny of its existance in order to protect its value from foreigners, for the 'S Hertogenbosch Messenger Beetle is exceptionally rare and nearly extinct species.
A fully grown adult 'S Hertogenbosch Messenger Beetle averages 5-9 inches in length and about 3-5 inches in width. With its sleek star covered shell, this black beetle was designed for speed. The wings of a Coribug may look flimsy and weak, but they are in fact lightweight and highly durable. Coribug wings have to be strong enough to withstand the friction attained by flying at extreme velocities, making them virtually indestructible (and inspiring the designs for a few European rockets). When the Coribug is not flying at highspeed, the brightly colored feet secrete a special substances that helps the messenger beetle to crawl on even the slickest of surfaces. Its underbelly is jet black, with the exception of a single red star on its lower abdomen that occasionally resembles an eye to the sleepy observer.
The 'S hertogenbosch Messenger Beetle has served a long and purposeful history among the people of the Netherlands. Although it is unknown exactly when these Neverbugs made the journey from Neverland to the Netherlands, these beetles have been serving since the city's founding with Henry I, Duke of Brabant. The town was originally conceived as a fortress town, and the duke secretly used these beetles to aid him in the protection of fledgling city. Since then, Coribugs were constantly in use to prevent several battles and disasters, though this didn't preven the city from seige several times throughout history.
Coribugs originated somewhere in the forests of Never, eating the leaves and fruit they happen to find in the wild. However, they have since adapted their habitat to coincide with mankind and will live pretty much wherever their masters will take them and eat whatever they are given, though it has been said that they are particularly fond of Belgium chocolate and stroop waffles. Whether its a small shop on a cobblestone street or the tower of an old basilica, Coribugs will live happily so long as they're free to do as they please: namely, send messages.
Sending and Delivering a Message
Sending a message with a Coribug is surprisingly easy. By lightly tapping the Coribug on its head, you let it know you're ready to give it a message. First you tell it who you wish to send it to, with as many specifications as possible, especially if the receiver is in another country as their postal system may be quite different from what the beetle is used to. Then you tell it what you wish to say and tap the beetle on its back when you're finished. If it puts its rear in the air, it means the beetle was confused and is asking you to repeat the message once more for clarification. If it twitches its antennae and the wriggles its legs, it should be good to go. Let the beetle outside and away it goes with its message.
Receiving a message from a Coribug, however, is not nearly as simple as sending one. Due to years and years of having to send coded messages for important people, the beetle naturally delivers its message in a form of morse code, and of course, the message will also be in Dutch--no matter what language you happened to send the original message. The Coribugs vibrate their wings and back legs at such a high speed that it creates soundwaves that sound very similar to clicking. Sometimes they become so excited about finally giving a message that they forget what they were supposed to deliver and get carried away. This turns into a very complex dance and often becomes confusing for the listener, especially if the listener doesn't know both morse code and dutch. The key is to be very patient, and possibly even dance along with the beetle until it remembers what it is supposed to say.
When the message is finally completed, feel free to reward the Coribug with a piece of chocolate and let it sleep for the next few days (or weeks depending on the distance it had to travel). Because the 'S hertogenbosch Messenger Beetle burns so much energy flying so quickly, it's best to give it foods that are high in sugar.
Observer's Note: Due to advances in technology, it's often easier just to send an email or text message rather than using a messenger beetle. But for those who prefer a classy sense of fantasy style, then by all means use the messenger beetle if you can find one. Though do try to time the distance of the receiver so the beetle comes during day, as the Coribug will often crawl on the receiver's face if he or she is sleeping. The red star shape combined with the sheer size of the beetle can be rather startling if one doesn't know what to expect.
A special thanks, as always, goes to my brother for finding such a specimen, and to Kelsey, who inspired me enough to update my blog :)