For the past month we have been awakening to an eerie drone, much like the sound effects of a sci-fi movie. Its source is something alien-like. Cicadas.

This strain has slept underground for 17 years. They emerged in May. Soon their shells, cicada versions of sleeping bags, were everywhere. Sprouting wings, the cicadas whirred from dawn to dusk, letting everyone know that there’s a party going. They will be with us a few more weeks. Then the party will be over and they’ll sleep it off for another 17 years.

Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of buzz about cicadas. A local paper printed a recipe. Apparently they taste like chicken. A woman commented about the poor birds that are deprived of meals for 17 years at a stretch. Do they go underground too? (You can’t make this stuff up.)

When Penelope encountered her first cicada, she promptly stuck her nose into its business.

P w cicada biggerThe cicada bounced an inch or two away. (Cicadas are klutzy and don’t seem to like flying very much.) She swatted at it with her paw, and it froze on the deck.  Brown spaniel eyes stared into orange cicada eyes. Neither moved.  Penelope was waiting for the cicada to go first. The cicada had probably fainted – overcome by spaniel breath.

After a few minutes, Penelope decided she had better things to do and left. The cicada seized the opportunity and moved on.

Since then, there have been lots of cicadas on the deck. Penelope ignores them. They’re no fun. A Best Friend Forever doesn’t wait 17 years to visit.

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