Green Popcorn

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There's an article in today's NY Times about the Brood X Cicadas, and essentially how they're NOT locusts (which are grasshoppers, BTW). This paragraph caught my eye:

Consider the difference in attitude in two novels, wildly different in location and in artistic value, but both with locust scenes. Dr. Lockwood quotes from "On the Banks of Plum Creek" by Laura Ingalls Wilder:

"Laura tried to beat them off. Their claws clung to her skin and her dress. They looked at her with bulging eyes, turning their heads this way and that. Mary ran screaming into the house."

In "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe, African villagers react differently when the flying cloud blocks the sun.

" 'Locusts are descending,' was joyfully chanted everywhere, and men, women and children left their work or their play and ran into the open to see the unfamiliar sight." The villagers gather the locusts, roast them and dry them in the sun and eat them for weeks. The same insects are a scourge to farmers and a boon to gatherers. Plague and bounty. Tragedy or popcorn from the sky. What I am looking for, and have not yet found, is a shirt that bears a message sometimes applied to cats, or whatever animal displeases the wearer. It works fine for cicadas, even if you like them.

"So Many Cicadas. So Few Recipes."


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This page contains a single entry by published on May 25, 2004 8:14 AM.

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