Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Call of the Wild...Cicada

 Cicadas: The Call of the Wild (Unimagined)


The season of the cicada appears as loud, annoying, and relentless as the political pandemic we barely survived in 2020. Where I live in Ohio is seemingly held hostage by the seventeen-year-cicada. Entomologists are undoubtedly thrilled with the invasion.


I am not an entomologist. 


Newscasters in the area report on cicada sightings, collections of the creatures, and go so far as to share intimate details of their mating. They are quick to point out the insects are harmless. 


Right. Everyone who believes that…stand on your head.


Oh sure, they don’t bite or sting. They don’t eat away at your garden. We’re not talking destruction or poison here, but trust me…they are not the little innocent creatures scientists would make them out to be. 


For example, let’s say, hypothetically of course, there is a woman about my age whose lawn needs mowing. She waits until the coast is clear to get her lawn mower out. No cicada sightings? The time is right.

Picture of a Live Cicada
Taken by the
Hypothetical Woman
In This Story


The woman dons her straw cowgirl hat with the pink ribbon around it, puts on her “mowing clothes” and heads out the door. About halfway through the clipping process the cicadas start swarming. Apparently, the creatures are drawn to the sound of the lawn mower engine. 


The woman is able to bat a few away and continue her mission. Soon, however, the insects are everywhere. She steers the mower with one hand and fights off “incoming” with the other. 

Determined to get the job done, she presses on. Sort of. She makes one more pass at the tall grass before giving up.


Once the lawn mower is in the shed, she darts back toward the house in a zigzag maneuver designed to fool the flying insects. She learned the tactic from watching old war movies as a kid.


The woman, who shall remain nameless, makes it to the back deck. She attempts to race up the steps but stumbles on the second one. Bruised leg only. Nothing is broken. She makes it to the door, shakes cicadas off of her blouse and knocks them off her straw hat. 


She closes the door behind her and revels in the safety of her house. What a sigh of relief.


That is… until there is this strange tickle on her shoulder. She pulls a live cicada out of her blouse and throws it in the sink, knocking a glass of water onto the floor. Not to worry. The tumbler was…uh…is plastic.


No harm? No foul? No way. The woman can barely sleep that night without feeling her skin crawl. The next morning she pours her coffee and moves to the window. There are no signs of the dreaded insects, but the grass is uneven, patchy, and a third of it is untouched. 


Cicadas. Harmless? I don’t…uh, that woman wouldn’t agree. What do you think?

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter: rebecca@waterswords.com




  1. I loved this post. I had no idea cicadas were drawn to the sound of a lawnmower.

    1. Yes! Actually, they love the sound of trimmers and anything motorized. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you leaving a comment!

  2. Have you noticed my 19 year old son two doors up from you carrying his bug zapper racket while trying to trip our neighbors bushes?! It’s become a very loooong project for him! Nice post Becky!

    1. A bug zapper racket! I love it! Glad you enjoyed the post Marla. I hope to get my backyard mowed some this evening. Don't want to get kicked out!


Leave your comments here. I look forward to hearing from you.