Ben tried not to feel hurt when Suzi refused his delicious offering. “Benny, I do appreciate you making me such an impressive meal, but we eat different things, and I have not felt like eating for days. I just feel like bursting. Something big is going to happen. I sense it. I wish that I could explain myself better.”
Ben relaxed and said, “I get it. Dad had me sit down for one of his “Life Lesson” talks. Usually, they drag on, but this one was hard another way. I had no idea that everyone was not like me. I did not know that life was short for some and long for others. I’m jealous that you will fly even though you don’t have wings. I will never fly, even though I have wings. Why do I have them if I can never use them? Life is confusing. “
Suzi and Ben spent days chatting about matters big and small and often had more questions than answers. Sam got tired of trying to answer all the “why?” and “how come?” and “it isn’t fair that…” questions. So, he said his goodbyes and slowly descended to his quiet den. Sam had done all that he could to teach the youngsters, and he was tired of their pushiness.
About a week after Sam left, Suzi discovered holes under the log. She had to be careful not to fall into any, and she prevented several of Ben’s family from falling headfirst into these deep pits. She and Ben hollered down the holes and kept hearing the same reply. “I’m coming! Soon.”
And soon, one bugged-eye head after another poked through the hole followed by chunky bodies. Each one started marching towards the edge of the log. Suzi tried to block them. Then all of Ben’s family joined. The critters stopped and demanded that they be allowed to leave. Suzi had no idea what these bossy insects were. Ben knew and was happy to greet them.
“Welcome, Suzi Cicada’s brothers and sisters, cousins and friends! Please stop and listen. You only need to wait another few days to leave the safety of the log!”
Suzi had never seen her reflection. She was surprised to learn that she looked like these bumbling creatures. Quickly, she joined in the welcome. “Hello all! Please listen to the wise beetle. I went out early and almost got eaten. Please wait with us for a short while.“
Proud of being the self-appointed leader, Suzi smiled. But one large cicada said gruffly, “Move aside. I know what I want, and I want to go on top of the ground now. Move, or I will walk over you!”
Suzi tried to block the bold cicada, but he was stronger. He shoved past her and was gone. Others followed him. Suzi realized what Sam had said. She wanted to go into the bigger world, but she knew the danger. She begged the others to stay.
Author Suzanne Holland is the Visitor Center Manager at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, which is home to lots and lots of cicadas!