Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And Now, A (Modern) Proverb

"The Woman and the Cicada"

Once upon a time there lived a woman who owned a young dog. Every night she let this dog out for his business as she had trained him well where to take his worldly toilet. Her dog was black, and the nights were so very dark, so every night she turned on her porch light to better see him. When she called, his eyes would glow in reflection of the porch's light and reassure her.

One night she opened the door to retrieve her dog when a cicada flew into her home. It was a lazy, erratic thing that bumped into walls and lights, slow but incessant. When it flew close to the door, she opened it for him.

"Go back home!" she commanded sternly. The foolish cicada did not heed the words of the master of the house.

The woman resolved to find and evict the cicada the next day. She went into the kitchen.

The cicada, in great fun, followed her and buzzed annoyingly around her head. In a fit of disgust and rage, the woman took up her dog's frisbee, lying nearby, and swatted the cicada from the air. He fell onto his back on the floor, dazed and helpless. The woman covered him with the frisbee and again vowed to evict him upon the morrow.

When morning came, the woman lifted the frisbee to find the cicada in the last stages of death.

"Cruel woman!" cried the cicada. "First you command me away, then you strike me and finally leave me in the dark to die!"

"Foolish cicada!" scorned the woman. "I bade thee leave and thou didst not! I let thee be and thou nagged upon my every nerve! Now in your foolish haste, you shall die."

At the woman's harsh words, the cicada's life fled from his tiny body. The woman scooped him up with the frisbee and tossed his useless carcass out the front door.

Don't overstay your welcome.


He who lives a fool dies a fool.


Do not scorn the correct path for your own whims. It could be the death of you!



  1. Sounds like a nugget of both truth and history, both excellent elements for a proverb.
    One hopes the cicada's family does not claim revenge. :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. True story, I really do talk like that ;) Glad you enjoyed it!