I love being at one with nature, I truly do - but sometimes nature needs to stay where it belongs.
I lost a battle. But being the minority in my house, it was a battle I gracefully bowed down from (I had no choice, either). ‘Pick your battles’ and all that is often my motto, but can be challenging when there is only one of me and three of them – two teenage boys and a husband.
So despite my arguments, we now own two scorpions and a tarantula. I’m not creeped-out by these little miracles of nature, and they’re the non-poisonous kind so that’s not a concern. It’s their food that has me in a tizzy. Crickets, the snack of choice, could potentially escape and, given their tiny size, speed and agility, hide in all cracks and crevices never to be seen again.
That is, of course, until they start chirping in the night and produce cute little baby crickets.
Luckily for us the scorpions and tarantula have opted for non-chirping crickets, so that just leaves the worry of any escapees.
I had become the nag all nags; the mother from hell. “You better keep the lid on the cricket container secure! If any of those guys get out….!” I threatened.
Everyone knew the result of any cricket infestations. Not only would the pest-control guy have to come in – on the boys’ dime – but they would have an out-of-control-with-rage mother on their hands, spewing “I told you so, I TOLD YOU SO!”
So they have been diligent, ensuring cricket-container-lid-security. My gentle nagging helps, of course.
But my nagging obviously didn’t work because about a week ago I was told two crickets had escaped.
A moment of silence passed and the air was thick with anticipation of my reaction. Everyone avoided looking at me.
I took a deep breath and calmly suggested that the two crickets be promptly found. I didn’t go down the ‘I told you so’ road. I was calm. I was sane.
A week went by……
One night just as I was about to get in the shower (you know where this is going), I fluffed out a towel and pulled the shower curtain closed and BOING!!!!!
In my peripheral vision I saw something jump. Good thing it didn’t jump on my leg.
I looked down, and just outside the tub, was a cricket. A very LARGE cricket.
I didn’t scream like a girl, nor did I fume in motherly fury.
I just wanted it gone.
I was naked and there was a cricket jumping around. Not the most ideal way of being ‘at one with nature.’
I calmly raced to the bottom of the stairs and calmly called up to the people relaxing in front of the TV, “There’s a cricket in the bathroom – come and get it NOW!”
Maybe I wasn’t so calm.
I hot-footed it to the bedroom and hid behind the door. I have no idea why, but I didn’t bother grabbing a towel. All too soon, a trample of feet trailed across the floor above me and down the stairs making their way to the bathroom.
“Do you have it yet!?” I bellowed through the crack in the door.
“Yes!” came the response.
I half-expected a few more moments of being stuck in the bedroom, shivering, while the cricket was fed to either pet, but all I heard was the not-so-gentle pitter-patter of feet back up the stairs.
I peeked out the door to ensure it was safe, then mid-race to the bathroom I called upstairs, “Where did you put it? Did you feed it to someone?” ‘Someone’ being a scorpion or the tarantula.
“No!” bellowed down a voice. “It was too big! It’s in the toilet!”
I could hear them rejoicing and complimenting each other that now they only had one cricket left to find.
Sure thing, there it was, in the toilet. Why it was in the toilet and not set free, outside, to be at one with nature, I don’t know, but I wasn’t about to further pursue it further at that particular moment.
Because it was then, I realized as I scoured the floor, and towels, and shower curtain, that that poor little cricket who had met its demise in the toilet was, indeed, QUITE BIG - much bigger than the tiny ones usually fed to the tarantula or scorpions. You see, they can only eat 2-week old crickets – just tiny little ones. They can’t eat BIG full-size ones like the one I nearly showered with.
This guy was NOT one of the two who had gone missing only just the week before. This guy had been around for a while – like a LONG while. They don’t grow that fast.
I hopped in and out of the shower as fast I could, fearful of any crickets jumping on me or in my hair.
Dressed and upstairs a little later, I kept my cool as I advised the majority of my findings and subsequent theories. All three faces paled at the realization.
As silence speaks volumes, I walked away after my revelation not uttering another word and did not bring up the topic again. The room was equally silent.
And so, naturally, a few nights later, all three of my men made plans to clean out some closets.
(PS. I would have taken a picture of the darling cricket to share with you, but given the ‘natural’ state I was in there was nowhere to keep a camera)
Thanks for reading!