Take a walk at night, passing a river.
The river is not wide, the kind of gurgling water. The weeping willows on both sides of the strait are flourishing and the shade is huge. One or two melodious insect croaks were mixed with the croak of “chigging, croaking” frogs.
Suddenly, it was like a closing tune from a concert, a crisp sound came from the canopy, first a cicada, then two, three…More and more cicadas joined in, as if from the sound of a flute. It becomes an erhu, a violin, and then an ensemble, regardless of it, and it spreads like that.
The sound of the cicadas mellowed and raised for a while, became loud and agitated for a while, like a “big bead and a small bead falling on a jade plate”, and moistened the complexion like a drizzle. The city began its nightlife in such a symphony.
The striking thing is the five or six tables lined up on the side of the road. In front of the table is a black barbecue grill and a wok set on a flame. The green smoke of hot oil is mixed with cumin powder, pepper noodles, and pepper flavor, filling a street by the river. The shirtless barbecue chef kept yelling: “Fried golden cicadas, rich in nutrients, cheap and good in quality!”
In a frying pan, one slotted spoon and another slotted spoon, the young cicadas, which were fried to a crisp, golden color, were plated and served on the table. In the plate, the slightly arched golden cicada’s limbs are distinct and golden, and the diners sitting around showed greedy eyes. They listened to the cold beer and chewed “click, click”, one mouthful of beer and one cicada on their faces. Full of cozy expression.
By the riverside and on the treetops, the cicadas were still singing. It’s just that the voice has weakened. Listening carefully, there is actually a doomsday wailing.
The summer breeze on the side of the road was too hot to breathe.
Staying in the city for a long time, I miss the summer night in the country especially. The summer night in the country is inseparable from the cicada. The hot wind of the day continues to follow their power. The men who have returned from working in the fields moved out the square tables of the Eight Immortals from the halls, placed a few long wooden benches at random, and put a bucket from the well. Water, rub the water with a towel, first wipe it on your face, then stick it to your chest, and close your eyes comfortably; then squeeze a handful, drag it from your back, it seems that the whole body’s heat is wiped away instantly Up.
Then he lay down on the wooden stool and gently shook the fan. Above tables and stools, or a neem tree with a crown of more than a long length, or paulownia with thick and plump leaves, or privet as dense as broken gold; the more particular ones are lying under the crape myrtle tree surrounded by various flowers. The women are still busy in the kitchen, preparing dinner for the whole family.
At this time, the sound of cicadas began to ring in every corner in front of and behind the house.
The cicadas in the countryside always carry an unruly wildness. This can be felt from their calls. As soon as they came up, they began to “squeak” hoarsely, and the sound overwhelmed all the calls of unknown bugs. Even the sound of frogs in the pond became intermittent, occasionally making a lonely “croak” or two. .
The climax of the cicadas is after the women serve dinner. The canola oil-drenched melons, boiled broad beans mixed with garlic cloves, steaming golden corn on the cob, and white barley grits porridge all lined up on the table.
The cicadas also seemed to smell the scent of the dishes, and with all their energy, they released their throats that had been suffocated for a day, and opened their throats.
The cicadas at this time have completely lost the daytime call. If we say that the cicadas in the daytime are neatly written in regular script, one by one, every touch, and with care, the cicadas in the evening have completely evolved into a grand cursive calligraphy event: for a while, you can walk around the dragon, and for a while. Splashing ink, swelling and frustrating for a while, free and easy for a while…
After a full meal, the children gathered together again to look for the cicadas hanging on the treetops.
Children don’t call them cicadas. “Zhi Le Monkey” is their unified nickname. Especially the empty cicada hanging on the treetops, it is said that it can be used as medicine, and it is expensive to buy in Chinese medicine shops. This has become one of the main ways for many children in rural areas to work-study.
In the light of the moonlight, following the tree that screamed the most happily, the sharp-eyed children can always have a harvest of three or five. The cicadas are also shrewd. Once someone approaches, just like Yuan Mei’s “I want to catch the cicadas, I suddenly shut my mouth” written in “What You See”, they immediately stop silent.
After carefully plucking the cicadas from the treetops, the children onlookers cheered immediately. The little friend who caught the cicada showed a triumphant smile like a star Gongyue, and then put it in his trouser pocket with a grin.
Occasionally, there are naughty children who are really greedy. They will catch one or two cicadas that have just molted their shells. They are shiny and black. Put them under their noses and smell them. They have a green sap smell. Chop their heads and tails, leaving only the back part of the cicada’s neck, then cut off the transparent cicada wings, and bake them in the ashes of the pot with remaining warmth, peel off the black shell while it is hot, and use your fingertips Pinch out a handful of lean meat the size of a fingernail, put it in his mouth and chew slowly, a sensation that was fresher than MSG spread from the taste buds to all the pores of the body in an instant.
Most children are reluctant to bake “Zhiyouhou”. Even if they were caught, they were only released after some play.
There are more and more trees, but there are fewer and fewer monkeys, and the cicadas on summer nights become sparse, and even one or two can only be heard on the trees near the water and deserted beaches that are inaccessible. The sound of cicadas cried.
The second uncle, who has lived in the countryside all his life, explained the reason: I don’t know when, cicada pupa became a popular item on the table. The villagers dug their minds to catch cicadas. Every time the larvae broke out of the soil, they wrapped a circle of scotch tape on the trunk. After the soil broke, the pupae of the cicadas that climbed up the tree would fall down when they climbed up to this place. The pupa of the cicada itself is not strong, plus the slumped ones, as long as you walk around the tree in the middle of the night, you can gain a lot.
“People who catch too many can earn five to six hundred yuan a night, and even some children have joined the army of catching cicada pupae.” The second uncle said sadly.
Cicadas begin to lay eggs in June and July each year, and the larvae hatch in the second year, and then live in the soil for several years or even more than ten years before they can emerge from the ground.
Imagine that a small life, from birth to adulthood, has to spend many years or even more than ten years in the dark underground to complete the transformation of life, but in the hopeful climbing, it becomes people’s Things in the plate.
Not long ago, I heard that the villagers invented a method to catch more cicada pupae: cut off the tree branches that lay eggs, store them in a greenhouse, and then heat the cicada pupae by geothermal heat. Adults hatch in just one or two months. In other words, it is possible to increase the number of cicada pupae and shorten their growth cycle through artificial breeding. After listening silently. A few years later, a summer night without cicadas can be regarded as a summer night in the full sense?