Monday, September 19, 2005

The cricket bus is coming

When I was little, I loved to sleep with the windows open. My parents house backed up to woods and a creek, so there were lots of night noises. Screech Owls and Great Horned Owls, and Red Fox, and tree frogs. But my favorite were the crickets. In the late spring, I would eagerly anticipate the arrival of crickets and would ask my mother every night when she tucked me in when the crickets were coming. She would tell me that the cricket bus was due any day. I would imagine this tiny little Greyhound bus loaded with crickets making it's way down the dirt road in the woods behind our house and how many stops that little bus would have to make to supply each person's yard with crickets, which was undoubtedly why it took so long. They would carry tiny litle suitcases with their glossy black hands as they made their way into the trees and shrubs of our yard. I read "A Cricket in Times Square" repeatedly as a child, so I imagined that they all also carried violins, for that was how they made their music. Their performances would start slowly at first, geting faster in mid-summer and then begin slowing down again as fall approached, until the cricket bus would arrive again in October and all of them would pack up and get back on for destinations unknown. I was thinking about this last night as I lay in bed listening to them, wondering how many nights more I had before it was time to close the windows against the cold. I noticed the crickets were starting to slow down. They must know the cricket bus is coming.


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