a beetle pause

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Dear All,

Here I have 3 questions from reading the same "section" of a novel:



He waited until the sound of the girl's progress had become swallowed up in the wind. ... the world had sealed over, had healed itself of the girl's presence, as if she had never lived. Even he, used to hearing a beetle pause and inspect itself under a fallen log, was dizzy with the mystery of how fully she had been taken away.

I understand that this is saying the girl had gone for good. But what's that to do with a beetle under a fallen log?
  • Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English

    3. It means that he was extremely experienced at observing creatures in their natural environment.


    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Again, this is very poetical, so the meaning is a little ambiguous. Here is how I hear it:

    • <<...>>
    • This one is a little more difficult…I believe it is emphasizing how incredible it is that she disappeared without his knowledge. After all, if he could notice a small beetle’s movements, how is it that he didn’t notice her being ‘swallowed up in the wind?’
    What book are you reading by the way? It sounds interesting…


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It's a very clever observation.
    To be able to hear a beetle moving is exceptional.
    To be so attuned to his surroundings that he noticed when a beetle paused, stopped moving and making a noise, is even more exceptional.
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