Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Cicada Problem

Cicadas have emerged from their underground caverns and are noisily announcing their presence in all quarters. I was approached by one nervous lady who had become exasperated by their ceaseless droning.

“It is like living among a convention of fiddlers who know only one note, yet must rehearse that note constantly, backwards and forwards!” she complained, wringing her hands. “What can you suggest?”

I told her of a farmer I knew who rounded up all the cicadas he could find – and he could find them easily due to their noise-making – and sold them to a baker in New York City.

“A baker!” she exclaimed. “Whatever for?!”

“I am not sure,” I replied. “I heard of a ‘bug biscuit’ concocted there as a cheap food for dogs. Perhaps you can locate that baker and profit from your problem.”

“I know some young boys who might be willing to assist me,” she said thoughtfully. “ - if I offer a bounty for each bug. I am sure to recoup my investment.”

She hurried off. I heard no more from her, but I wish her well. I did not tell her that the dogs who were offered such biscuits refused to eat them, and the baker was left with a surplus of insect-enriched flour.

In some countries cicadas are eaten to no ill effect, but whenever I visit that metropolis, I choose my restaurants carefully.

Copyright © 2013 Laurie J. Anderson. All rights reserved.

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