Lisa Currie

By Lisa Currie

Before we moved to Toms Brook, we lived in the country, Amissville — in Rappahannock County. It’s not even a town — just a place on the map: down the dirt road, away from traffic, a pond in the back yard, with horses in the field next to the house. It was the country.

We live there for eight years — never saw a snake and never had a mouse.

Now, we live in a town, with streetlights and neighbors — between two of the busiest roads in the county — and our lives are at risk. Hey y’all, the problem has got nothing to do with traffic (we have police!) — our problem is the snakes. We have them everywhere this year.

Snakes are just one of those things that make me scream. I even scream when I see them smashed on the road.

Oh, don’t tell me about snakes being good about catching mice. We have mice too.

When we lived in the country, we never had mice. We had no snakes. We had no bugs or bobcats. I never saw a bear bigger than a picnic table nor did I have one come visiting the backdoor. Life in Amissville was not very wild at all. In fact, it was dull.

Now, we live in a town — with paved roads and trash pick-up — and we have snakes on our patio, in our yard and slinking across the road. Someone told me that the snakes are here to eat all the cicadae. Well, we have enough to feed them, but I really did not invite them over for a meal.

And we have earwigs everywhere. Now, we usually have an earwig or two, slithering between flowerpots or bricks. But this year, we have earwigs everywhere. And it’s not that we have them everywhere, we have millions of them everywhere. Evidently others are having the same problem. My opinion; those nasty earwigs came out of the ground in the same holes that those thousands of cicadae used. Snakes and earwigs are something else we can blame on the cicadae.

Our squash plants have not been doing very well this year, and the cucumbers are really struggling. I think we can blame that on the cicadae also. Let’s blame climate change and economic recessions on the blasted bugs also. Since they are not going to be back for 17 years, we can blame all kinds of things on cicadae as they are not here to defend themselves.

Toms Brook resident Lisa Currie is a retired professor of English as another language and an adviser at the Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown. She has worked at The Shenandoah Valley Herald and various other newspapers in Virginia.