Originally Posted: 2004-05-12 2:26pm
late night encounter with cicada's
I need to tell you a story about the last time the Cicadas came to Virginia. I had recently moved from the West to Virginia and I had been living here for a couple of years. I thought I had experienced everything the East had to offer until that fateful night I came across my first Cicada.
I was out smoking on my deck (it's a disgusting habit and I would never want to devalue my furniture or get that smoke smell in my house) As I was smoking and and looking at the stars I felt something bump into my chest. At first I thought it was my gold chain but I quickly realized I hadn't wore my gold chain today I had felt nostalgic and had decided to where my hemp necklace. I determined to make a quick check of my chest area, which is made easier by the fact that I like to keep the first three buttons of my shirt unbuttoned. (It was really hot.) As my hand swept across my chest I felt a large bug of some type.
Panic set in.I spent what seemed like an eternity writhing out of my shirt while trying to maintain a body posture that would not allow the insect to touch my skin. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears and a strange high-pitched squeal. I'm sure the perspective from someone watching this appeared to be doing some strange spasmodic dance set to the beat of my own heart and the treble of the high pitched squeal. (My friends know I am quite the dancer and not spastic in any way.) I eventually managed to remove the shirt and flung it to the ground.
As my panic subsided and fear turned to anger I was determined to find out what kind of bug this was and destroy it for the making me panic and potentially ruin one of my favorite shirts. I kicked the shirt to one side to reveal what at the time I thought was a strange looking cockroach, but was in reality a cicada. After looking closer at it, it appeared to look at me and began to make a clicking croaking sound.
In horror I realized this was the sound I had been hearing all night and I was surrounded by these creatures. The volume seemed to increase as my mind tried to locate it's source and realization set in that it was everywhere and thousands of them. At this point I began to hear my heart pound and that strange high pitched squeal again. I slowly backed toward my door and tripped over my cat Timmy. (His actual name was Tom, but oddly had been turned into Tim and now I affectionately call him Timmy.)
Lying there on my back I turn my head to see hundreds of cicadas crawling toward me. Fear locked up my ability to move and I laid there motionless, helpless as the cicadas advanced on me. One cicada took the lead, he was most definitely a scout of some sort and crawled to within a foot of my face. At this time I had an epiphany that this was the determining moment on whether I was to survive this night or not.
I collected my thoughts and reigned in my fears to become aware that my mouth was wide open. I definitely didn't want any insects crawling in my mouth so I quickly closed it. As I closed my mouth the high-pitched squeal stopped. My realization that this whole time I had been squealing like Little Miss Muffet post tuffet sitting totally destroyed any morale I had built in the last few seconds and I lied there helpless waiting for my demise.
Suddenly Timmy jumped over me and quickly ate the scout cicada. As he crunched on the carcass you could tell the cicadas had fear in their eyes. This one act brought me out of my paralysis and I quickly recoverd the ability to control my movement. In no time I found myself inside of the house with the door shut and securely locked. Then guilt swept over me I could here the noise of battle on the porch but could not muster the courage to return to the field of battle to support Timmy in this epic struggle between mammal and insect. At some point I fell asleep from exhaustion.
As the morning came I heard Timmy scratching at the door. At first I thought it was Timmy's ghost come to haunt me for my cowardice. As fate would have it Timmy survived the night. I will forever be grateful for Timmy's rescue and he will never run short on catnip.