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I’ve never liked bugs. Grasshoppers are gruesome, and wasps are menacing. Even butterflies seem to flaunt their grace by fluttering in your face. Recently, however, I’ve realized that one insect cowers below the others as the most scheming of the six-legged world. I’ve discovered that I hate crickets.
These bugs are way too happy for their own good. Not only black, smaller versions of the grasshopper, crickets are masters of hide and seek. The inky bodies blend flawlessly into the shadows beneath a bush or inside the garage. Each crunchy creature also must have a shrinking ability. Squeezing into cracks and crannies in walls, even the cockroach is shamed by the cricket. Once hiding within thirty feet of my presence, the despicable beast begins to sing its wretched, repetitive tune. Echoing in my ears, magnified by the silence between chirps, the song rattles in my head.
Forget studying, forget writing and solving problems, forget sleeping, because I am irritated. Each shrill note pierces my skull, drumming inside my head as though pressuring my brain. "Find me," it taunts, "if you can." Concentrating becomes isolated, like a special filter is funneling only the vibrato-filled song into my mind. Eyes wide and furious, I hunt, following the gnawing chirp. Listening with ears attuned only to the shriek, I creep so slowly, so focused my muscles ache with the strain.
Zoning in on a tiny area, suddenly repulsed by the thought of cricket skin brushing my delicate fingertips, I seize a sandal from the step. I can hear it. I know it’s only a few inches away.
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