|Mini canvas "Road less traveled"|
Last night while working in my basement studio I saw a cricket working its way along a wall. I know that my cat Olivia will probably stop it dead in it’s tracks since she prowls the basement constantly. As I sat watching this poor little insect I remembered another cricket a few years ago and the mayhem that it caused.
It went something like this…
Each year, in the eastern portion of the United States, starting in early fall and continuing until the first frost, the great Cricket invasion begins.
That night I got about two hours sleep, total. It seemed that one rather tenacious cricket had taken up residence somewhere in my bedroom. It’s incessant chirping had invaded my personal space, and I have always been cursed with being a light sleeper.
I tossed and turned in the area between sleep and awake finally admitting to myself that I would get no real rest unless I could stop the annoying sound. I decided I had had enough, so I went on a Cricket hunt.
Have you ever been on a Cricket hunt at three in the morning? Arming myself with a flexible flashlight and a tissue, I tracked the sounds. Alas, wherever it appeared to originate, I’d always seem to end up on the opposite side of the room.
I decided to try a different approach. Quietly, I lay down with my hunting tools in hand, waiting, but whenever so much as a toe would touch the floor, the incessant chirping would stop. Do Crickets laugh, I wondered? If they did, I am sure that this little fellow was rolling on the floor.
What a sight I must have been at that odd hour, stalking a tiny black bug, snake light wrapped around my head like a deranged coal miner. Suddenly I found her, and yes; it turned out to be a she. You see, helping my daughter with her 4th grade homework had not been all in vain.
I raised my tissue-covered hand and dove, only to be disappointed and come up bugless. She had somehow gotten away. Damn they are fast. Suddenly the chirping stopped. Exhausted I drifted into a light sleep dreaming of chasing crickets over hill and dale.
Six O’clock came and so did the offending song. I leapt out of bed like a woman possessed and started tossing things aside in desperation. Meanwhile, my daughter awoke to the startling sight of her disheveled mother throwing things around without regard to placement or order. After moving half the contents of the room, I asked my bewildered child if she knew the length of a Cricket’s life span? She didn’t.
“Do I look like a Cricketologist or something?” She groaned.
Then I saw it. It was crawling along the wall in the corner. I called for my daughter, because she had assured me that she could pick up the thing. She couldn’t. While she was screaming I pounced. I had captured the cricket in the folds of the tissue. Quickly I headed for the door and threw it outside tissue and all. It was the old “catch and release” for the lucky little songstress.
I knew that the invasion wasn’t over yet, and wouldn’t be for a little while. I hoped that I wouldn’t have any more midnight visitors but if I did I was confident I could handle the situation.
My daughter has since grown up but I am sure she can fondly recall the days of cricket hunts, her mother wild-eyed and focused on one thing—returning this small unassuming insect to its proper habitat, and waiting although not too patiently for Jack…Frost that is.