Seasons Change – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The cicadas are dying. Here. And here.

Me:        I know. You need not pile them at my feet.

Stella:    But they are dying, Lady Human! Why?

Me:        It is the end of their season. They have done their job.

Stella:    But they only hatched out a few weeks ago. They waited in the ground for 17 years and only stayed a few weeks? I don’t understand.

Me:        They hatched. They sang in the trees. They mated. They laid their eggs.  And 17 summers from now…

Stella:    …the eggs they just laid will hatch and the babies will do it all over again. How sad.

Me:        Or how comforting. It’s a great cycle. The locusts…sorry, cicadas that hatch next year will be the ones that were laid as eggs 16 years ago this summer and so on and so on. A continuous chain that keeps looping back.

Stella:    Why now?

Me:        Summer is ending.

Stella:    The trees are silent.

Me:        Seasons change.

Stella:    I don’t like change.

Me:        Neither do I.

Stella:    I’ll miss them.

Me:        They’ll be back.

Stella:    Sure as summer.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Giant Insect Air Force – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. We are being invaded by a huge number of giant flying insects called cicadas.

Me:        We call them ‘locusts’, but I realize some people call a grasshopper-like insect that so there may be some confusion…

Stella:    What, Lady Human, does that have to do with what is going on?

Me:        Just clarifying.

Stella:    Please don’t. You only make things more confusing. And this is confusing. A day ago, everything was nice and calm and the cicadas were here. Now they are flying around like mad, lots and lots of them, and… OW! One flew into my head!

Me:        Don’t worry. He’s okay. It didn’t faze him one bit.

Stella:    He’s okay? What about me! It fazed me!

Me:        There do seem to be a lot of them flying, more than I’ve ever seen at one time.

Stella:    They are kind of cool. Green and gold and shiny. The trees are filled with them, all singing. Is that windup toy noise their fight song?

Me:        No, it’s more like their mating call so the females can lay eggs and 17 years from now the babies can hatch out.

Stella:    Watch out! Low flying giant insect! What if I catch one?

Me:        You won’t like it. I was wearing flip flops one summer evening many years ago…

Stella:    Boring! Get to the point.

Me:        A cicada flew down and got caught between my toes and my flip flop and I couldn’t get that shoe off fast enough. It was buzzing and shaking and bumbling…

Stella:    That’s great!

Me:        No, not great! And another time a cat caught one in her mouth and liked to have gone nuts before she realized she just needed to open her mouth and let it go. That cicada scared that cat silly.

Stella:    A cicada in a cat’s mouth, huh? Lady Human…

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    But I have an idea.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    But you haven’t heard it yet.

Me:        Don’t have to. I already know what it is.

Stella:    But it would be funny.

Me:        Not for the cat, it wouldn’t be.

Stella:    Hmmmpphh. Pooh! What good is a cicada invasion if we can’t have some fun with a cat?

Me:        If you think it’s so funny, why don’t you go ahead and pick up a cicada with your mouth and see how that works?

Stella:    No, not the same. My bulldog mouth is so large, he’d probably get lost in there and never find his way out again.







Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Who’s Been Digging Holes? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Someone has been digging holes in the yard and I want it stopped.

Me:        Okay, then stop it.

Stella:    How?

Me:        Stop digging.

Stella:    I am not the culprit.

Me:        Oh, really? Then what I watched you doing under the picnic table the other day was not digging? You were going at it pretty hard and it sure looked like a textbook case of digging to me.

Stella:    Textbook?

Me:        Classic.

Stella:    Classic?

Me:        You were digging. I saw you. Just as I have seen Wiggles, Miss Sweetie, and Tiger digging under the table on different occasions. I don’t really care if that’s where you want to dig and how you want to spend your free time…

Stella:    No, no, no! Of course, we dig under the table. That is what we are supposed to do.

Me:        Why?

Stella:    I have no idea. I think it has something to do with the ground being cooler down there, but I have no temperature device to prove it.

Me:        Then why do you want the digging to stop? Just stop it.

Stella:    Not that digging! Not that hole! The little holes that are all over our perfect bulldog landscape. All our trails have them. The weird little holes. They cannot be ours. They are the size of one bulldog toe.

Me:        Oh, those. Those are locust holes. Some humans call them cicada holes.

Stella:    Locust? Si-kay-duh? What? Who?

Me:        They are flying bugs. They bury their eggs in the ground and, when the time comes, the eggs hatch and the young bugs dig their way out, each one leaving a hole in the dirt.

Stella:    Young bugs? Horrible! Horrible!

Me:        They shed their skins and fly off into the trees. You’ve heard them. They make that whirring noise like a windup toy’s gears grinding.

Stella:    Horrible noisy young bugs! Wait! I have not seen these holes before.

Me:        It must have been a good year for cicadas 17 years ago.

Stella:    17 years?

Me:        That’s when these cicada eggs were laid. They have waited all this time for this summer to come.

Stella:    Well, they need to fill those holes in. I could be running along and catch my toe in one.

Me:        I doubt that seriously.

Stella:    Imagine waiting 17 years to set a trap for a bulldog’s toe. To honor their patience and perseverance, I declare cicadas to be the Bulldog of Insects. Now order them to come down and fill in those holes.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.