General Fiction posted November 4, 2016


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The Cricket feels threatened to dance.

The Flapping and the Buzz .

by Lloyd T. Okoko

"What must have gone wrong?
Why are they not here as agreed?"
The butterfly stuttered.The thought
of itself and sibblings celebrating
the seasons excited it so much that
it started dancing.
It had survived the verve of the
swift flowing flood waters without
getting caught up and swept away
into the ocean. It felt its feet sink
and instinctively flutters its wings,
squelches its feet free and alights
on top the ant-hill.
"Maybe,I arrived too early,the
butterfly said to itself. I shall return
when the sun has adequately dried
up the soil. It was disappointed over
the absence of the other members
of their insect fellowship. It would have had a good dance if they had all turned up.
Even without the drums and Xylophone,its flapping and that of the grasshopper together with the buzzing of the dragon-fly and the mosquito could easily have served as ready tinder for a rollicking dance.
Rehearsals are equally exciting as the real dance and the butterfly had always looked forward to it each year. It shook its head ruefully and was about flying away when he sensed a strange movement around him. It was the cricket peeping to verify the much the sun had dried of the flood waters.The butterfly was too shocked to see a cricket on top an ant-hill.
"Why are you looking at me like that?Have you not seen a cricket before?" The cricket broke the silence.
"Pardon me for looking at you so intently", the butterfly pleads with
the cricket,"I am only used to seeing crickets at the sand banks of rivers".
"The flood waters displaced us",replies the cricket.The flood covered everywhere.The only habitable land-mass we could access was this ant-hill".
"It is almost dried up.In a day or two,you could walk without squelching to where you really belong",says the butterfly."And if you don't mind, join us in our annual dance".
"Do insects also dance?" The cricket asks, overtly dumbfounded.
"Yes!Each year,at the end of the rainy season,we the butterflies, grasshoppers,dragon-flies and mosquitoes of the land do come together to celebrate the end and the begining of the new season.In fact,when I turned and saw you peeping at our playground,I thought you had come to indicate interest in becoming a partaker of the dance".
"I will give it a thought",the cricket replies and hastily wriggles back into its hole. It cannot risk staying out of its hole for too long. An insect with an oily skin like its own cannot risk staying out of its hole for too long. It risks being pecked as grub by birds and lizards.
It was very likely that a weaver bird had seen the cricket wriggle into its hole from afar: for no sooner had the cricket wriggled in,when it arrived and started pecking and scratching the entrance with its feet.It was soon joined by another of its kind; and then another; with the three of them busy scratching with their feet and intermitently pecking at the entrance to the hide out of the cricket.
If they had continued much longer, it would have spelt grave danger for the cricket.The cricket's saving grace was a hawk which swooped on the birds and took one of them away,while other two fluter away facing different directions.
Three days later, when the grounds of the forest became adequately dried to make for unhindered movement of creatures to their indigenous abodes the drums and Xylophones started beating.It was time for the dance of the insects.
The grasshopper had in the company of the dragon-fly stopped at the cricket's home to persuade it to accompany them to the dance. But the cricket was hesitant.
"It is a good idea",said the cricket to the grasshopper and the dragon- fly.But I will not be able to honour it".
"How would the mosquito feel that you turned down its request? Just think of it. It is already buzzing and dancing in the company of the butterfly.What excuse do I give them for not coming with you to the dance as agreed", asks the grasshopper.
The cricket ignores them and kept within without coming out of its hole.It was obviously panic-stricken.
The grasshopper and the dragon- fly got tired of the cricket's reluctance and left.
This was its ripe moment of escape from this naked threat.The cricket thought aloud to itself. It hurriedly its young ones and leaves for its indigenous abode at the sand bank of the runnel.



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