Posts Tagged ‘locusts’

for Jack, who wonders if locusts are next

I’ll send you organphosphate chemicals, perhaps?
It takes only a small, concentrated dose in an aerial sprayer.
But the possible side effects are gruesome and I cannot imagine
the karmic debt for this kind of slaughter—80 thousand
locust adults in each square kilometer. No.
If the swarm comes, as it often does as part of a series
of misfortunes, well, there is nothing to do then but to make
the best of it. Locusts are, after all, protein rich. And not terribly hard
to catch. In Swaziland, they use large nets, then cook the whole
bugs on a bed of embers. Once done, they remove the heads,
wings and legs, and dine on the roasted breasts. In Botswana,
they boil the bodies in water to soften them before they fry
the locusts in fat until they are brown. Best served
with mealy bugs. And in the Philippines, they serve locusts adobo,
slow cooked in soy sauce, garlic, vinegar
and bay. It’s a fine dish, they say, for travelers.
It is terrible, this longing to help someone when you know
there is nothing at all to be done. Death. Illness. Fragility.
We wish we could ease the loss. But when the locusts come,
the locusts come. And you know the flood might be next.
That’s when you might wish you’d dried a few of those Acrididae.
They have a long shelf life, years, and the dried legs are relished
for their pleasant taste. Or so they say. I haven’t tried.
But I so want to help, to say something more useful
than “I’m sorry.” “That’s tough news.” “I will keep you in my prayers.”

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