Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

a cricket rescue

This morning I walked into the bathroom at work, and heard the unmistakable sound of a cricket. And it was loud.

At first I had the confused thought that it was coming from the ceiling. Then I thought to look on the ground, and sure enough, there was a cricket hiding behind the toilet. I managed to scoop him up, and despite having him escape once as I opened the door to leave the ladies room, I was able to recapture him and keep him in my cupped-together hands.

Approaching the back door, still in my riding gear (which is really just a t-shirt and yoga pants, I don’t go superman-style for my bike commutes), I poked my head into the cube of a coworker who is always in as early as I am.

“Could you open the door for me? ” I asked him.

Always agreeable, he got up with a smile to open the door.

He held it for me (I didn’t have my badge with me either, of course) as I jogged to the grassy woodsy area off the back parking lot.

He never questioned what I was doing, or why I was saving a cricket. No comments at all, neither positive nor negative. Which, frankly, is a relief. I get enough unsolicited (and ignorant) advice during my bike commutes, I enjoy the simple acceptance of what might appear to be yet more crazy behavior from the representative vegan/bike commuter.

I couldn’t help but to think of what my response would have been, had he asked.

“Why the effort to save a cricket?” he might have asked.

“I choose life.” I might have responded.

And while that is a really simplistic explanation for why I’m vegan, why I’m bike commuting, why I’m determined to make the best environmental choices I can, it is a pretty encompassing one.

It is question that I think, if put baldly, most would have a hard time justifying any other response.

Can you imagine asking someone why they choose death, as they eat the remnants of an animal?

I’m sure it would go over like a lead balloon, even though that is the choice they are making.

So. I choose life. I’ll add that to my stock of possible responses to questions that might never get asked.

And in the meantime, it was the best possible start to a lackluster work day. An hour plus on the bike followed by the rescue of a loud cricket.


9 responses to “a cricket rescue

  1. Mary Martin September 18, 2008 at 8:22 am

    On behalf of the cricket, I thank you.

  2. Kay Evans September 18, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I thank you too, Deb! I’m glad you were the one to find him and I’m sure he’s very happy to be in the grass.

  3. girl least likely to September 18, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    yay for crickets! i rescued one out of my own house a few months ago. he was inside the track of some sliding doors, so i had to wait patiently until he came out on his own, at which point he made a beeline for the back stairs. heh! i caught him and gave him a free ride outside. i heard somewhere that a cricket inside is good luck, so here’s hoping the rest of your day went very nicely after that! i’m sure the cricket’s did.

  4. Mo September 18, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Go crickets! Go Deb!

    Ya know…it’s interesting how these things are viewed, sort of geographically. When I lived in Arizona I was actually persecuted at work for being open about love and care for animals & nature, and animal rights (by friends, coworkers and upper management). I moved to Oregon, and suddenly my coworkers would gasp in relative horror if I squished a spider…. I’ve moved many a bug outdoors while at work since living here, and no one blinks an eye (unless to assist me).

    I wonder whether any sort of ‘explanation’ would help (be enlightening) when it comes to folks such as those you’re dealing with…where I come from, it would just give them ammunition and they would go on the attack, whether then and there, or later. Sometimes a simple, closed statement like “because I have no reason to not do it” and going about your business is very effective. (sort of like, “why not?”, but then they often will start giving you their reasons for why-not(!))

    I feel for you, because I know the discomfort that kind environment causes. :-\

    (Or, you could’ve amused yourself by telling him the reason was because the cricket was too loud.)

  5. Deb September 19, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Mary and Kay – thanks! I was so happy to have found the cricket before my coworkers. I’ve seen the end results of *that*, and it isn’t pretty.

    gllt – I hadn’t heard that about luck before! I did have a good day, so maybe there is something to it. Regardless, it felt good to have helped him out a bit.

    Mo – I haven’t noticed much difference in how these are viewed based on geography, I think it is more the overall work environment drives how much people lash out at others. My current work environment seems to foster thoughtlessness, but not outright cruelty. Most people are pretty nice, they just don’t pay much attention to things. So it wasn’t much surprise in the end that my coworker very nicely held the door open for me, but didn’t ask any questions. I don’t think he’d have really listened to the answer even if he had asked the question.

    Sort of weird, now that I think about it. Quite frustrating to work with, from an actual work perspective as well!

  6. Mo September 20, 2008 at 1:52 am

    đŸ˜¦ “fostering thoughtlessness”…oh, what a pithy and profound statement…yes, that is the way with so many environments, particularly work environments. You’ve really nailed it there….

  7. Gary September 23, 2008 at 12:45 am

    I thank you, too.

    One time at work I liberated a spider who was on someone’s back. The person lauded me profusely afterward (“What a nice person you are to not kill the spider,” etc.) But I didn’t deserve any praise. In fact it was somewhat disconcerting – as though the simple act of taking two minutes to help a small creature in need rather than kill him was something extraordinary, or out of reach or unthinkable for the “average” person.

    I hope for a society in which rescuing very small critters is so commonplace and expected that killing a spider or leaving a cricket to die in the bathroom is what generates scorn by co-workers.

    I like your question of “why.” The first thing that came to mind was “empathy.”

  8. Deb September 23, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Mo, sad but true, no?

    Gary, somehow I think your coworker is further along than most of mine are. Mine go out of their way to smoosh creatures smaller than them because nothing else occurs to them!

  9. Bea Elliott September 26, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Of course it’s the “empathy” it is what the world so sadly lacks. Culture and society continue to divide “us” from “them” – yet we are all the same, “Earthlings”. Thanks for inviting comment – great post –

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