© Gregory North, 2006
I am a cicada and I live in fear.
They say that my music is harsh to the ear,
but you would be noisy if you had my lot.
Just look at the dangers and worries I've got!
My problems all started near four years ago.
I hatched in a tree top, then had to let go!
They said with my size that the fall wouldn't hurt,
but I felt a pang when I crashed in the dirt!
I had to start digging before I was seen
by ugly big creatures all hungry and mean.
When safely below then I had to find food.
I sucked up the sap out of roots. Aren't I shrewd?
I lived in my air cell that shrunk as I grew.
I had to enlarge it and shed my skin too.
And as I grew bigger my new skin would peel.
I shed it five times – it was quite an ordeal!
Then one day the rain caused a fantastic urge –
next warm summer night I would have to emerge.
I dug to the surface and when time was right,
emerged in the darkness – then started my fight.
Surviving the crickets, the spiders and ants
I shed my last skin like a tight pair of pants.
In daylight my wings were a sight to behold.
"Beware all the wasps and the birds," I was told.
The dangers we face keep us all on our toes.
I've heard I could live for four weeks, but who knows?
Together our songs keep the bird life away,
but also pull females who like what we play.
Hey, here comes one now. I have just caught her eye.
G'day. Like my music? And look how I fly!
Oh, no! I don't think I can see you again –
that currawong's eaten my whole abdomen!
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© Gregory North 2010. Photos by Andrew Bosman and Gregory North. Updated August 2010