Jerusalem Cricket

The insect’s nickname worried me so much

That during the summer when I visited the Holy Land

I would never order French fries at the Jerusalem McDonald’s

In fear that when I was dipping them into ketchup before the Western Wall

The burrowing cricket would emerge and devour my tasty fried potatoes

And slip back into the underground


But years later, in a California town where potatoes were unheard of

I chanced upon that roach-like pest

And it amazed me with its genuine drum taps

Thumping its stomach against the soil

And suddenly I knew that everything I once feared about the cricket was wrong

No toxins accompanied those rhythmic drums

And for the first time in my life, I felt calm and carefree.


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