One afternoon, Susan is visited by a colorful creature she's never seen before. This strange encounter opens up a window into her past. Is this magical creature here to bring her a special message or not?
Read Susan's story and tell us what you think ...
The afternoon sun filters through the mid-sized elms, and the asphalt smells like a heated oven. My car registers 95 degrees even parked under the trees. I throw my work tote in the front seat, crank up Elfin, roll my windows down farther, and glance at my side-view mirror before backing out.
What is this? A florescent-green something clings to my mirror. Crisp, furled-up leaf? Fresh snap pea? Bright avocado slice with legs?
Whatever it is, regards me with black, pinpoint peepers.
On the 25-minute drive home, my eyes dart back and forth between the road and my lime gelatin-colored passenger. I squeeze the brakes carefully, and I wonder about wind shear.
I need not have worried. Those chartreuse tootsies stick like suction cups.
I pull into my driveway. My little passenger can make a home here on these two acres of lawn, stream, pines, and maples. I wish her well and leave her to figure out relocation details.
Curious, I do a google search. I discover that she is not as pedestrian as a cricket or a grasshopper but is a magically-colored insect called "katydid."
As the afternoon softens into a translucent evening, I light a white candle and settle down on the floor to meditate. In the pale glow, I try to still my mind, but my thoughts return to the little katydid that journeyed home with me.
A distant memory of a story my Aunt Katie told me surfaces. Before Alzheimer’s took her mind and, ultimately, her life, Aunt Kate shared that schoolboys at Unicoi Elementary jumped at her and taunted, “Katy did, Katy didn't, Katy did. She didn't! She did!"
In the telling, my aunt wrinkled her nose, remembering how that, well, bugged her.
I feel a sad “missingness” for my aunt, and briefly consider whether Aunt Kate might use the katydid to reach out to me, hoping that this particular insect might get my attention. How silly, I think, and blow out the candle.
How silly, I think, and blow out the candle.
Ten days later, I lift the trunk of my car to stow groceries. On the back window glass, basking in the morning sunshine, perches another katydid. She faces me, her long antennas gracefully sweeping several inches past her neon green body, six tiny legs gripping the glass. "Do you see me?" She seems to ask.
Three mornings later, I pull back my bedroom curtains. On the window screen, the shadowed outline of another katydid welcomes me. I blink my eyes and peer closer. It cannot be, I think. I lie back in bed and quiver like a furled leaf, incredulous at the unlikely creature poised behind the curtains.
What are the odds of three katydids appearing so close in time in places I cannot help but see?
Almost a month passes. It is now late July, dog days of sizzling heat. I visit my mother and park on the street in front of her house. A couple of hours later, I start to open my car door. Near the side mirror reposes another katydid.
By this time, I just marvel and accept these little insect visitations. As I drive home, she nonchalantly pads across my windshield to the other side of my car as if she knows its terrain like the back of her feelers. Arriving home, I find her near my car's back window.
I consider whether Aunt Kate sent those little green critters to say, “Susie, you did what you could for me, and I am as fine as frog hair and sending blessings to you."
Or did she not?
Meet Susan H. Evans
Hi. I'm Susan, and I recently moved to Baltimore. My daughter has just given birth to my first grandchild. I am thrilled!
I write and teach writing at a community college. I am published in many online and print magazines. Since writing this piece, I have not seen a katydid!
Connect with Susan on her Facebook page here: