Crickets’ Last Song

Bridgewater Elementary - terrariam

One fall, in my early years of teaching Elementary School, I built a terrarium creating a closed ecosystem for my classroom. We included dirt,  gravel, chunks of grass, rocks and sticks. We found a large preying mantis on the schoolyard and put it in the tank, along with a toad, earthworms, moths, pill bugs, and crickets. The students really enjoyed watching all the activity in the tank.

The crickets in the tank made their chirping sounds as we went about our school day. Little did they know the mantis sitting silently  up on the dead branch was waiting patiently  for her chance to grab one of them for lunch. When the mantis caught one, the children watched in awe as she systematically devoured the cricket. She was preparing to create her egg sac!

Cricket’s soulful sound

Chirping last mating song __

Fall mantis waiting


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Victoria at d’Verse gave us crickets as our prompt for Haibun Monday.  Crickets are an indication that fall is on the way once more. I decided to share how crickets contribute to my classroom during my teaching day back in the 1970’s

Join us at d’Verse : https://dversepoets.come


26 thoughts on “Crickets’ Last Song

  1. What a great thing for a teacher to offer kids that age…especially if they live in urban areas and don’t have a chance to observe nature like many of us do. The haiku was so powerful. Sometimes the circle of life seems hard to swallow but that is how it is. Liked this a lot, Dwight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Victoria. It was great fun at the time. She did create an egg sac and in the spring one morning the table and windowsill was covered with baby praying mantises! The children were not as squeamish as adults in seeing the process. The cycle of life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: cicadas’ shrill piercing whine | TheGuern

  3. I love this kind of anecdote, Dwight, and teachers who go all-out to broaden young people’s horizons. I would quite like a terrarium like that now. I’ve never seen a real live preying mantis – that would be cool! But I feel sorry for the cricket -another lesson learnt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kim. It is sad how far education has moved from hands on learning to teaching the test. Now there is not time for this kind of learning in the classroom. It is all about keeping on schedule and getting good scores!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing! Those were lucky students to enjoy a piece of nature in their very own classroom. By the way, I always thought they should be called “preying” mantis!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How lucky those children were. Kudos for your teaching skills & poetic recall. In Junior High, in a rural area, we worked with fertilized chicken eggs. I still have to have my eggs over hard; no runny yolks for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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