War of the Crickets
In this blog, Rooster wages the War of the Crickets against the noisy insects who invaded our house. He comes out a winner in this war due to the weather turning cold. #crickets #ground hog #trap
Crickets have invaded our home now that fall is around the corner. There seems to be an overabundance of them this year. They’ve pushed through the cracks in our foundation like a noisy army of nocturnal fiddlers out to win a glorious victory in the battleground of love. Rooster has declared war on this troop of sex-starved interlopers. Thus, Rooster went into action after declaring war on the crickets.
He’s not the sort of guy to stand in the way of romance, but these pests are keeping him awake at night. I told him he was going to lose the battle of public opinion. Everybody likes crickets. The Chinese believe they bring good luck. Disney even created a beloved cricket cartoon character. The grandkids would be appalled once they found out he was waging war against an army of Jiminy Crickets.
Rooster’s previous war with the groundhogs
My biggest fear is it will turn out to be as disastrous as the war he conducted against the groundhogs back in 2014. The neighborhood we live in was invaded by the large greyish rodent known as the groundhog. These animals weren’t cute tree-climbing creatures like the squirrel. No, these rodents were the digging through the wood to destroy the stuff you have stored in your garage sort of creatures. Some of them were as large as a fat beagle and as ugly as a giant grey rat.
One particular groundhog fired the first shot of the undeclared war. Rooster and I were pulling the motorcycle out of the garage. The groundhog sat on the corner of the narrow street that runs beside our house, which separates us from the unofficial junkyard created by the neighbor who lives there. (The story on how this neighbor turned his yard into an illegal junkyard may become the subject of a future blog.)
Sinewy old groundhog
The sinewy old groundhog studied us while we went about our business. Both Rooster and I thought the groundhog’s behavior was odd, but we figured he was getting accustomed to the presence of humans. We were about to lock the door to the garage when the groundhog made his move.
He bolted across the street and ran right between Rooster’s legs, disappearing into the hole he’d chewed into the wood. I found myself doubled over with laughter. I’ve never seen Rooster dance so well in all the forty-five years I’ve been married to him. Rooster had created a new full leather-wearing biker jig which could never be replicated again. It appears we were standing on the doorstep of the groundhog’s winter home.
Rooster plots revenge
It was a property we paid for, and he was an unwanted guest. Rooster spent the winter milling over what he was going to do about the trespasser. In the spring, Rooster declared war. The groundhog who’d taken up residence under our garage became a self-appointed general in the conflict about to take place. He was old, patient, and wise. He knew how to wage battle against the human species.
Rooster joined forces with the neighbor across the alley. They made a pack to carry on a war against the groundhog like neighbors tend to do. In my experience, it takes two men to create a disastrous plan. They tend to run in packs. They discussed all their options over the backyard fence. The option of shooting the large grey rodent was off the table since we live inside the city limits.
They went over to the local humane society and came home with a trap. The idea was to put some food in the device to lure the groundhog inside.
The groundhog trap
Once he was enjoying his evening meal, the door would slam shut. They would transport the caged animal out to the reservoir, which is about a four-mile walk from where we live. It would be a catch and release deal. The groundhog would be relocated, and the men would be happy. There is one thing you can count on in life. Even the best thought out plans go wrong.
The first issue the men encountered as soon as they got started was what exactly do groundhogs eat that would be exciting enough to make one walk into a trap. They tried ham, cheese, pickles, and dinner leftovers. Nothing seemed to work until one of them came up with the idea of a peanut butter cookie.
It worked perfectly. The cookie was gone the next time they checked, but there was no groundhog in the trap. It didn’t take long before the men figured out they were dealing with a genius groundhog. They needed to get creative if they were going to trap this clever rodent.
The war raged for the entire summer
The war raged throughout the summer. I found myself getting attached to the groundhog. I was feeding him dinner every night. It was like he was a guest at the table. I gave him a name. He appeared to be old and grizzly. I figured he had a lot of living under his belt to be able to evade the traps put out for him every day.
I started calling him Old Granddaddy, which made Rooster mad. He was sure giving the enemy a name jinxed the operation. I was convinced by the time the trees started to change colors Old Granddaddy couldn’t be caught.
They caught the groundhog
It happened during the warm spell we get after the first frost known as Indian Summer. There was a knock at the door. The neighbor Rooster partnered with in the groundhog war was standing on the porch. He announced He’d caught Old Granddaddy. He’d placed the trap under some brush at the side of his house. Old Granddaddy didn’t know what he was walking into.
The groundhog entered the trap expecting to feast on a meal of overripe tomatoes when the steel door slammed behind him. Rooster put the trap holding Old Granddaddy in the bed of the neighbor’s truck and gave him a ride to his new home out at the Reservoir.
We thought that was the last we’d see of Old Granddaddy, but we were wrong. It took him a while, but he was home by the spring. He brought a groundhog wife back with him. We see the progeny of the happy couple running up and down the block these days. I’m starting to believe Old Granddaddy is younger than I first believed, or at least he’s proved to be a sexually active old groundhog. Rooster’s war with Old Granddaddy makes me question the amount of success he will have against an army of crickets.
Why Rooster fought the War of the Crickets
The constant chirping these bugs create by rubbing their wings together drives him crazy in the middle of the night. He rolls out of bed and listens for the direction where the cricket love song is coming from. He moves furniture and other stuff around to get at the noisy insect.
This strategy has resulted in the freezer getting unplugged. He discovered the unfortunate interruption in power when he moved the freezer a couple of days later in search of another cricket. The meat at the bottom was still frozen, but the stuff on top had to be thawed the rest of the way and cooked.
It is too bad crickets don’t eat much. I would have invited them to dinner. I’m spending a considerable amount of time repairing the damage resulting from Rooster’s nighttime forages. The weather is starting to turn cool. The nocturnal lovers stop singing their love song when the temperature drops below 74 degrees. My hope is the battle will be canceled due to weather.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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