We got our first major dose of cicada-mania this weekend at Zoë's pre-school spring picnic. As we sat in the grass eating pot-luck picnic cuisine, children were gawking at the underside of a picnic table next to a large maple tree, where dozens of cicadas were popping out of their nymph skins and plopping to the ground. What followed was a combination of squeals of joy and squeamishness, as various unfortunate cicadas fell under the influence of three-year-olds.
Zoe was trying to carry one on a leaf (so as not to have to actually touch it) when I got one onto her back. By the time we were back over to our blanket with Paula and our neighbor/babysitter Anna (whom Zoë had invited along, and had been showing off ever since our arrival to our teachers), the cicada had climbed to her shoulder. Zoë laughed at the cicada's tickly legs on her shoulder, then squirmed, and the red-eyed bug plopped to the ground as it sought a less shaky perch.