Alex and I went to visit my sister – this was a few months ago now – but while we were in the kitchen talking, I gradually became aware of a noise … faint, but distinct and very persistent. I thought perhaps her fan oven was making a weird noise, or she’d set an alarm and left it on somewhere upstairs, forgetting to turn it off.
Eventually, I could ignore it no longer – “What is that noise? I asked, irritated by her seeming acceptance of it.
Lisa – my sister – looked somewhat resigned and replied: “It’s a cricket.” In answer to our puzzled faces she went on to explain: “I bought a box of live crickets to feed David’s bearded dragon and one escaped. And now it’s living behind the cooker.”
I couldn’t help myself … I burst out laughing. The cricket joined in, merrily chirping away from its new abode.
Alex asked: “But what does it eat?”
Still snorting with laughter I said: “It’s probably eating all the dogfood and growing to massive proportions, snugly tucked behind your oven!”
Lisa paled somewhat, clearly not relishing the thought of Cricket-zilla squatting in her kitchen … coming out with the dogs… sitting for its dinner…
“Right! That’s it! I’m evicting it tonight!”
We took our leave, I cheerfully reminded her to message me to let me know what transpired at Cricket-gate… Later that night I received an irate text saying: “Can’t get the bloody thing. Now it won’t let me concentrate, just keeps chirping all the time!”
I replied saying she should think of it as her very own brand of ambient music, some people pay good money for recordings of things like whale music…cricket song… I heard nothing else for the rest of the evening, and indeed the rest of the week. Most unlike my sister.
Meanwhile, the cricket chose to accompany Lisa with some choice pieces of background music in whatever she was doing until one day she decided shereallycouldn’tstanditanymore …
Now. My sister is only small, and had at the time broken her toe, having fallen up a step; yet with irritation levels threatening to overflow she managed to haul her fridge/freezer halfway across the kitchen floor to make enough space to pull the cooker over a bit so she could crawl behind it to catch the cricket. Suitably armed with a plant pot the battle began … they raged back and forth in the limited amount of space behind the cooker until in a last ditch heroic effort my sister launched herself across the floor and rugby tackled the cricket, trapping it firmly beneath the plant pot.
She lay, for a little while, catching her breath while the cricket chirped away in the pot, perhaps pleading for mercy… But no. Lisa got to her feet, clutching the captive cricket and took it outside to the very top of the garden where she left it sitting miserably inside the plant pot.
Back indoors, she made herself a well-earned cup of tea and sat down to do a little relaxing sewing. What was missing… ? The silence was, well, deafening. I remarked upon it myself, the next time I saw her.
“Well, I don’t miss the bloody thing!” she stated defiantly.
Then one night, later on that week, she went to the kitchen door to let the dogs back in:
“Ee-ee ee-ee ee-ee!!”
She looked down.
And there, at her feet, on the step, sat the cricket!