The Old Man and The Cricket
And the cricket's cousin.
The Old Man didn’t care for crickets, not the British game nor the insect.
He viewed The Cricket insect as annoying, obnoxious, and loud despite its miniscule size.
Of course, The Cricket couldn’t help that it made the sound it did. It’s the nature The Creator gave it.
But given the choice of complete silence or The Cricket, The Old Man would choose The Cricket. At least with The Cricket, The Old Man knew where the sound was coming from every time. The Old Man knew there were other critters enjoying the park at such an early hour, but The Cricket broadcast its location for all to hear.
And that was a good thing, a very good thing.
On this particular morning, however, The Cricket was active in a way The Old Man had never heard before. The prolonged staccato sounds coming from The Cricket seemed to be telegraphing an urgent message to friends. The Old Man noticed as soon as he stepped outside.
Then the number of responses and subsequent noise level from The Cricket’s friends resounded across the pond.
What was going on? Why were alarms being sounded? What’s changed?
The Old Man pondered these questions as he looked out over the moon-lit pond.
Then all went silent – completely silent – the kind that sends chills up the spine. The Old Man’s spine tingled too, a sign he was still alive and ticking. At his age, The Old Man needed every sign he could garner.
Another sound pierced the silence, a sound similar to The Cricket and yet distinctively different, but one that might have been a close cousin.
Then another instance, and another. Within a minute thousands of insects were abuzz with noise.
The Cricket, in its chance to tell all, had telegraphed that a dormant 17-year relative was in town, The Cicada.
If The Old Man didn’t care for The Cricket, he certainly had no use for The Cicada. He did the math in his head, but by the time The Old Man would hear The Cicada again in another 17 years, he’d be long gone, so he had that going for him. He wondered what it would’ve been like to only appear on the scene every 17 years among people and be dormant for another 17. Sounded like a pleasant existence. He envied the Cicada even as put his hands over his ears.
For now, though, The Old Man would have to endure The Cicada, obnoxious as it was.