Notes from Sierra Madre Crickets And Other Wildlife Friends

You’ve read one of those adorable books that well-meaning people write for children about crickets and other unpleasant varmints?  Tailored, of course, for the wellmeaning people who buy them for children because they are so adorable…the varmints, that is…well, the children, too.

Examples: “The Very Quiet Cricket”, “Oscar and the Cricket”, “Cricket Man – A Novel”, and, of course, that all-time favorite: “Cricket on the Hearth.”  Obviously, these authors, sterling folk though they may be, have never actually HAD a Cricket on their Hearth, in the bedroom or in their kitchen.  Did you know that you can actually buy Cricket Cages on  I suspect these cricket cages were created for a darker purpose, such as keeping crickets alive so one can feed them to a larger, quieter and more sinister pet.

My husband and I have had, on more than one occasion, a cricket in our bedroom and the little creep could drown out a helicopter.  Here’s some extraneous information you can consider while wishing you didn’t have a cricket anywhere near you: Did you know that they make their chirping sounds by rubbing their wings together, and that only male crickets can chirp?  Fascinating, huh.  Especially at 2:00 a.m. when you wonder what God was thinking on this cricket thing.

Trying to find a chirping cricket is an exercise in futility.  You listen carefully, think it’s behind the plant, yank up the plant and find…nothing.  Behind the dresser, nothing.  The nightstand, the TV.  You give up, turn out the light, lie down, take a deep breath…chirp…chirp…chirp.  The exterminator comes and sprays all around the house.  There is peace for months and months.  You forget they exist.  Then you walk in the kitchen one night and there are three of them, lounging around the floor.  You bomb the kitchen and the bedroom.  There is peace, but not for long.

In China, cricket chirps are considered music.  The little stinker is revered and treated with respect there, and it’s been this way for over 2,000 years.  Until the start of the Tang Dynasty in A.D. 618, crickets were only appreciated for their singing capability and that is when the Chinese began keeping crickets in cages in their homes to provide more opportunity to hear them singing.  And then iTunes was invented and I’m pretty sure you won’t find crickets in cages in downtown Beijing.

Bears occasionally wander through our town, as do deer, coyotes, raccoons, skunks and we even had a fox living under our garage for a while.  He (or she) would venture out each evening around cocktail time to see what was going on in the neighborhood.  The day a very large bear walked down our driveway, stepped over a four foot gate like it was a stepping stone and proceeded through our yard was memorable and a little terrifying.  But I’ll take the bear in our pool yard over a cricket in my bedroom any day of the week!

About Deanne Davis

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