Who knew when it began?
Her first observation was the fire-anthill on the sidewalk in front of the house of the conservative, climate-change detractors, the Squiggins. How odd! Fire ants here, was all she thought.
At midnight while walking Fergus she heard a mockingbird’s crazed anthem, with new cuckoo-birdlike additions, in the maple adjacent to the neighbor’s house.
And then the 17-year cicadas rose four years early, their bronze empty shells clinging to trees.
In the morning she heard a steadily building hum, a noise the average person living in the suburbs with its abundance of mechanical whirs ignored. It sounded like hundreds of cicadas massing behind the Squiggins’.
Very early on Friday morning as she went to retrieve the newspaper, she thought she saw a dodo bird in the neighbor’s drive chasing their stalking cat. She shielded the sun from her eyes, but couldn’t confirm the impossible sighting.
She didn’t share her suspicions with her husband. Instead she invented a story about needing a weekend trip to the beach.
When a sinkhole unmoored the neighbor’s house, she was seven counties away stroking Fergus’ head, hoping this was an isolated event, but tweets across the country told another tale.
While this is a work of fiction, the cicadas and their humming and the midnight mockingbird are true events. Some of the 17-year cicadas have arrived four years early and the pictures above were taken today. Here’s a story about the early arrival.
Despite everything you may have heard about dodo birds, being stupid and physically lumbering, they were probably neither. Their extinction was the result of man and all of his accoutrements entering their environment. They were curious birds with no predators. You can read about them here.