Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Cricket

It is a room bedecked with an overgrown canopy of William Morris Chrysanthemums that flourish along its sloped ceilings and gather themselves into flamboyant bouquets inside its quirky corners.  A multicoloured star light sways above a capacious iron bathtub that is painted all over with echoes of Morris blooms, its silver clawed feet resting on checkerboard tiles of limestone and glass.  Though Edward can often be found dozing on the stone tiles during bath time, it is a room that is principally mine.  It is my bathroom and I adore it. 

Lately however, I have been sharing my sanctuary with someone else.  Someone that normally I would find most unwelcome.  A cricket.  Not the adorable sort of fellow that aided Pinocchio in his quest to become a real boy, the one with the lovely voice just made for singing songs about star-wishing.  No, no this is another sort of cricket entirely.   Known for its spooky long limbs and its more than irritating habit of jumping high, high in the air.... onto curtains, into beds (!)... this is a Camel Cricket, a creature so ghastly that not even Walt Disney himself could manage to make it adorable.

Whilst soaking in my bathtub one evening last week, I peered up over a honeycombed mountain of bubbles and spotted him.  A horrid little fellow, sitting placidly on the molding where Morris meets beadboard, gazing innocently over in my direction.  Perhaps he thought eye-contact might serve to save him from the usual fate of his kind; a quick squashing beneath an out of date issue of Vogue.  Indeed, that was my plan, but as I lay there looking at him, looking at me, I decided to just let him be, reasoning that he’d probably hop away to places unseen by the morning.  

But no, when I came in before breakfast, there he was.  On another wall this time, but I knew it was him.  The same insouciant look in his eye, the same flick of his feelers in my general direction.  A wave, perhaps?  So, our relationship began.  He has been greeting me each morning now for a week, watching with interest as I attempt to transform from a sleepy, untamed fright to an acceptable facsimile of charm and grace.  He laughs.  He knows my secrets.  He is no Jiminy Cricket.  But then, I am no Blue Fairy.

But this morning I noticed he has begun to get bigger.  Big enough to jump.  Big enough to jump into my bedroom if he chose.  Big enough to jump into my bed?  I glanced over at the silver magazine rack to see Gwyneth Paltrow smiling serenely, and conveniently, down at me from her place on the cover of an old, old issue of Vogue.   However, after brief consideration, I declined her offer, finding it is difficult to murder someone who has studiously watched you put on mascara for a solid week.
 So, placing a water goblet over my friend, an slipping a tissue under his belly, I gently carried him out to the garden.  
And oh, the stories he has to tell!


  1. cute cute cute cute cute -
    at least he wasn't keeping you up all night for an entire week with chirp chirp chirping

  2. Dear Pamela, As always you keep me spellbound, believing that I know what the final fate of the cricket will be but, no, there is a twist in the tale. Indeed, how could a deadly blow with a weighty tome be a suitable ending for a tiny creature with whom you have shared such intimacy?

    Your bathroom sounds idyllic. How ever do you summon up the strength to leave such a haven?

  3. Oh my, what a great story, I could not wait to get to the end! Lucky little guy!


  4. Oh yes, he can tell all about internal secrets and posed ladies. A lovely reverie this morning.

  5. Charming! You can take the most ordinary situation and make it enchanting.

  6. Pamela
    Love it...you saved the sweet little cricket! A glass and a slip of the magazine is my preferred method of savior for God's little creatures too. I do the same even for Huntsman spiders in Australia...and it takes quite a bit of bravery to tackle those little babies :)

    Pamela it just dawned on me, from you comments on my posts I assume you know London/England pretty well. I just read that you dream of the Scottish Highlands...home country per chance?

    Have a good one !!

    PS..thanks for your comment on 'Blog Talk'...it is shaping up to be an interesting post :)

  7. Great story telling...(and great bathroom;)A cricket was living in my bedrooom..singing his song when I came upstairs and put on the light..would you believe he did this all winter long..I don't know how he survived all this time?
    Happy day dearest...

  8. Oh I love the happy ending Pamela. I am deathly afraid of spiders... it goes back to a huge black spider crawling up my leg as a young girl. I always killed them-fast, hard and not to be reckened with! But in recent years I am able to scoop them up-with some very long-handled instrument and show them to their new home...way out in the back woods.

  9. Dear Pamela,

    Just love your storytelling and glad the little chap could escape to the big outdoors.
    Your bathroom sounds beautiful.

    Have a happy week

  10. needed a smile....and you and Edward ALWAYS put a smile on my face !


  11. You are a beautiful person. A lovely tale. A tale compasion for an ugly cricket. Yes... a beautiful person you are.

  12. As one who lived in the Deep South for most of his life, and now doesn't, I must say that I miss the insects. Here in Oregon, they simply don't compare in either size, beauty, or numbers.

  13. A beautiful blog and a fascinating cricket story. I vill be back soon.

  14. I'm smiling very big :)))))

  15. Happy Birthday, dear Pamela!
    Buster and I send warm greetings.
    We always really love your thoughtful and lovely blog.

  16. Hello P&E,

    A charming tale of mutual respect. Not sure I would be quite so magnanimous!

  17. Oh, I am so glad you spared his life. Think of the mess you would of had to clean up, if you had crushed him on your William Morris wallpaper.

  18. Awww, what a nice way for me to start my day. Thank you for saving the hapless fellow, and Gwyneth thanks you too, I'm sure.

  19. Pamela, I think you have a dreamy space of a bathroom!! Nice reading your post!

  20. Absolutely love this tale Pamela. I totally agree with the kindness of release rather than a sudden death. When I was a student nurse we lived with cockroaches in a very old Victorian nurses home. I totally loathed their long feelers and they gave me the creeps. I used to put them in glass jars and screw the lids down tightly, but guilty thoughts worried at me until I eventually used to take them outside to freedom. Nowadays, I cannot kill even the tiniest creature as I believe everything has its life to live and it is not for me to put an end to that life.

  21. Oh, he's off now telling the other crickets what an adventure he has had - his head will be full of William Morris blooms - what a great story:)

  22. i cannot imagine anything NO-THING worse than what you just described...unless it was a spider but they don't jump!! shudders...

  23. You're braver than me - I would have to sell the house to be rid of the dreaded cricket! Leigh

  24. You have a heart after my own taste....kind, brave and considerate!
    And you can put it into words - so beautifully!
    It's your birthday? Many happy returns! May you never run out of stories to tell!
    Love ~ Victoria

  25. Please write a book already, Pamela! I'm so enchanted by your storytelling.

  26. A new friend ? I think that the story is lovely :)



I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!