TITLE: Crickets in the Post Office; 7/3/2018
By Claire Cottrell
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CRICKETS IN THE POST OFFICE
By Claire Cottrell
“Ms. Ross, we’re out of crickets!” Dave said. It was Dave’s day to feed Alfred, the class pet for the fourth grade at Christian Elementary School. Alfred was a Pac-Man frog. Pac-Man frogs are colorful frogs with horns. Alfred was yellow with orange spots and orange eyes.
“Are you sure?” Ms. Ross asked. She looked in the cricket cage. There were no crickets. “I will have to order some more tonight.”
“Are you going to order them on the internet?” Dave asked.
“Yes,” said Ms. Ross. “That’s where I always buy them.”
“Won’t he starve before the crickets are mailed to the school?” Amy asked. She was responsible for changing Alfred’s water.
Ms. Ross looked at the Pac-Man frog again. He lived inside a small plastic aquarium, and he was very fat. A cricket was hopping around inside the frog’s cage. Alfred’s eyes were closed. The cricket climbed on Alfred’s head, and Alfred did not open his eyes.
“He does not look hungry,” Dave said.
“The man at the pet store said frogs do not eat every day,” Ms. Ross said. “It only takes two days for the crickets to be delivered.”
The Pac-Man frog buried himself deeper in the dirt in the bottom of the cage. Only his horns and his eyes stuck up above the dirt. He closed his eyes again. The cricket hopped onto the wall of the aquarium and began climbing toward the top.
“I think the frog will be okay until the crickets come,” Ms. Ross said.
“Who cares anyway?” John, the boy on the front row, asked. He scowled at Dave and Amy. Today would have been his turn to change Alfred’s water, but he kept getting out of his seat until Ms. Ross took that privilege away for today. Now he would have to wait fifteen days until his turn came again.
“I care,” Ms. Ross said. “When we put animals in cages, we are responsible for providing for their needs, since they can no longer do so themselves.”*
“Who says?” John asked.
“God says,” Ms. Ross told him.
The next day the frog caught the cricket. C-r-r-u-n-c-h! C-r-r-u-n-c-h! The Pac-Man frog ate the cricket. Then he buried himself back in the dirt in the bottom of the cage
The students became very quiet.
Some of them said, “Poor cricket.”
“They are part of the food chain, right Ms. Ross?” Dave asked.
“That is correct,” Ms. Ross said. “I hope the crickets come tomorrow like they are supposed to do.”
On the second day, Ms. Ross went to the post office. When she went inside, she could hear chirping. Loud chirping. It sounded like the chirping sound crickets make.
The crickets were here!
Ms. Ross went to the post office window. She asked the postal worker, “Did a shipment of crickets come for Box 225?”
The postal worker laughed a little.
“Yes!” said the postal worker. “They are everywhere! Look!”
At that moment Ms. Ross saw a cricket jump on the counter in front of the postal worker. Next one jumped on top of her head.
The postal worker said, “Somehow the crickets got out of the box they were shipped in. We have been trying to catch them all day. We keep putting them back in the box but they keep getting out. We put tape all over the box, but they still get out. We don’t know how they are doing it.”
“Can I come back there and catch the crickets?” Ms. Ross asked, pointing to the area behind the counter where the postal worker was standing.
“Yes!” said the postal worker.
“Let me go out to my car and get my cricket cage first,” said Ms. Ross. “Then I will come back inside.” She rushed outside and rushed back inside.
The postal worker opened the gate that kept the public out and let Ms. Ross inside.
Crickets were jumping and crawling everywhere!
There was a cricket on the computer.
There were crickets on the packages that were inside the carts.
There were crickets on the wall.
Some crickets were on the ceiling.
There were crickets climbing up Ms. Ross’s leg. One jumped on her shoulder.
Ms. Ross carefully caught the crickets on at a time and put them in the cricket cage. Pretty soon, she had all the crickets in the cricket cage.
“Thank you so much,” said the postal worker. “I was getting very tired of all those crickets.”
“I’m sure you were,” Ms. Ross said. “I’m very sorry that happened.”
“It is not unusual,” the postal worker said. “We get all kinds of critters back here, and sometimes they escape. This is the first time crickets have ever gotten out, though!”
The next day Ms. Ross brought the cricket cage to school. It was Vesta’s turn to feed Alfred. Vesta did not like to touch the crickets. She used a net to catch one and drop it through the cover of the aquarium. The cricket fell in front of Alfred. It jumped away.
Alfred opened his eyes. He jumped, opened his wide mouth, and grabbed the cricket in his mouth.
Then Alfred burrowed back in the dirt until only his horns and eyes showed. He closed his eyes.
*Scripture Reference: Exodus 21: 28-36, Deuteronomy 25: 4 and 1 Corinthians 9:9, King James Version.
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