It was extraordinary! We had just returned from putting most of camp back into our group's storage unit. Each of us then turned our attentions to our personal tents as we began to take them down and started packing the vehicles.
With claw hammer in hand, I started pulling up the stakes that held down my tent. Suddenly I noticed something small and green struggling in the grass. It was the mantis once again, this time making a final visit upon me.
I put my hand down to the little creature and it climbed right into my palm. It sat there tilting its head left, then right as it folding its forelegs back into praying position. It was another bittersweet moment as I said farewell to my frequent visitor. This time I couldn't put him on my tent, as it would be coming down shortly. I decided to place him on the trunk of a nearby tree so he would be out of harm's way, what with all the people and cars moving about.
At that moment, everyone stopped what they were doing in order to take pictures and say goodbye to our unofficial camp mascot. Then it was back to work, clearing up and packing the last of our equipment. Eventually it was time for us to leave the campground, to leave our annual "home away from home", and head back to the modern world that awaited us.
As I drove off the grass and onto the road, I looked at the tree as I past it. The mantis was still sitting where I left him. When everyone had lined their cars up behind mine, we headed towards the exit of the campground one final time. Pennsic was over for another year.