Up in the Hollow: Y’all thrum back now, y’hear?

They came, they sang
They did their “thang” . . .

And as they gathered for the final ritual of departure, the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Corps of the 2nd Horde, all 170 billion of them, began to fall silent. There, in Harris Hollow, they bowed to the Great Pharaoh Baba Loo Bop, Lord of the Vast Cicada Hordes, Choirmaster of their Relentless Song, the High Priest and Eternal One of the Earth Cicadas. He spoke:

“Its been quite a party, brothers and sisters, quite a hoedown, quite a jammin’ gig. Over in Flint Hill, some of our crew hit 120 decibels! Drowned out every chainsaw, weed whacker, gun nut, belching cow and barking dog in the county. Say Baba Loo Bop!”

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

And the battalion responded, “BABA LOO BOP!”

“You will be amused that the unevolved humans of the press and academia have taken to calling us ‘Swarmageddon.’ Well, enlightened ones, they ain’t seen nuthin’ yet! I can’t wait until the year 2030. Say Baba Loo Bop!”


“This party is about over, ‘we are here but a little while,’ said the Bard . . . yet we have gone forth and multiplied . . . by a factor of 10, I would say. Our bodies we bequeath to the earth, as good fertilizer, and our young go underground where life is a long childhood. But hey, get this: The humans have even taken to eating us like shrimp or asparagus, for the ‘tasty protein,’ according to The Washington Post. Well, broodlings, all I can say is that there is a sucker born every minute, right?”


“This neck of the woods has changed some since I was last here, back in ’96. There’s a lot more wine and a lot less moonshine, for one thing. And a lot of humans have moved in here intending to make it more like Connecticut or New Jersey. Or Aspen! Spare us . . . And have you seen all of these new architectural monstrosities on what used to be beautiful hillsides? A lot of these cats have more money than tastes, I say.”


“I can remember these hills when we first came here, back after the glaciers melted. No humans around then. Then the people came across the ice from Asia, and filtered down this way about 10,000 years ago. The Manahoac that lived around here would join in when we had our big party. They were good neighbors, really. No complaints there.

“But these recent humans have always got a problem. It’s always something. The only problem we’ve got is with these damnable Halyomorpha halys, those steenkin’ brown marmorates. There goes the neighborhood, huh? Oh well, those cats won’t be our problem for another 17 years. And maybe by then they will be gone. And maybe the humans will be gone, too. All they do is fight each other. Inferior species!”


“Well alright you cats and kittens, lemme hear you now! The Grand Chorus of the Subterranean Army – all together now. In the key of  E! Lemme hear you holler! More decibels! Pile on the decibels!!!”


And then . . . the Silence.