This morning as I swept the kitchen debris into a dustpan, I saw something skitter. When my heart resumed its normal rhythm, I looked down and saw a cricket lying belly up among the bread crumbs.
I have a generally laissez-faire attitude toward insects; it's their world as much as ours, and knowing nothing of mortgages and property taxes, I can't blame them their desire to co-habitate. I share my bedroom with a colony of ladybugs, and if, while cleaning, I find spiders in the corners of the rooms, I gently disassemble their webs, knowing they will rebuild, or if the weather is not too nasty, escort them outside.
But this cricket scared the shit out of me. Crickets are greasy and disease ridden, and have a penchant for eating organic material, including their own dead. As if that were not enough, they can jump. High.But seeing as this one was already dying, and I am generally squeamish about the sound of crunching exoskeleton, I had neither the heart, nor the guts, to kill it.
And so, I made the most logical next move. I retrieved my phone to snap a picture to send to David. In the few seconds I was away, my nearly dead friend mustered his remaining life force, and when I returned, THE CRICKET WAS NOT IN THE DUSTPAN.
Thus began my panicked hunt for one brown cricket covered in a thin film of gray dust, somewhere at large, on my brown kitchen floor. A quick scan revealed nothing, as did a closer look on hands and knees. By now I had a paranoid, shuddery feeling that I could, at any moment, be jumped by a mostly dead cricket.
Almost as soon as it began, he reappeared a few feet away. I took my photo, wrapped the cricket in a paper towel, and deposited him in the trash. And although the bag wasn't quite full, unwilling to take another chance, I sealed it tight and took it out immediately.