Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Cricket

an original retelling of a folk story

By Rocci Hildum

Here is an absolutely true story about two friends of mine.

Antonio and Rudolpho were good friends. They were good friends but they had not seen each other for a long time. Antonio lived in the big city of Seattle where it is very busy and noisy and there is always something happening. Rudolpho lived in the country where it is quiet and slow. One day, Ruolpho decided that he would like to visit his friend Antonio. Rudolpho made the trip over the mountains to Seattle and when Rudolpho knocked on Antonio's door Antonio was so glad to see him. Antonio wanted to show Rudolpho all the wonderful things in Seattle.

Where do you think Antonio took Rudolpho? Antonio took Rudolpho to see the Space Needle, and Rudolpho had never seen anything like that. From the top the people on the ground looked like ants and Rudolpho could see the mountains and the ocean. Antonio took Rudolpho to see the Pacific Science Center, and Rudolpho had never seen anything like that before. Antonio took Rudolpho to the Aquarium, and concerts, and ball games and Rudolpho was amazed, he had never seen things like this before.

Then one day Antonio took Rudolpho to one of his favorite spots, The Pike Street Market. Have any of you ever been to the Pike Street Market? The Pike Street Market is a very busy place. There are people playing music and people reading poetry and people buying things and selling things and kids running around and these people throw fish around. It is a very busy and noisy place.

Rudolpho was fascinated. He had never seen anything like this before. All of a sudden Rudolpho stopped. "Listen."

Antonio looked, "Listen to what? How can you hear anything in here is is so noisy. There's children running around and music and poetry and people throwing fish, how can you hear anything?"

Rudolpho said, "You have to listen!"

Rudolpho listened for a moment, cocked his head to one side, and then said, "A cricket."

Antonio was astonished. "That is not possible. There is so much noise in here, there's music and poetry and kids running around people buying and selling things and people throwing fish, how could you possibly hear a cricket? Besides, I've never even seen a cricket in Seattle!"

Rudolpho listened and then he bent down towards a planter and picked up a little cricket. "See, a cricket." Then Rudolpho put the cricket back.

Antonio said. "That's amazing, how did you do that? Teach me how you did that, I want to trick my friends too!"

"There's no trick."

"There's got to be some kind of trick!"

"No, no trick, watch," Rudolpho took three brown pennies from his pocket and in the middle of the Pike Place Market with people buying and selling things and music and poetry and kids running around and people throwing fish, Rudolpho dropped those three brown pennies on the ground, PLINK, PLINK, PLINK.

The music and poetry stopped. People stopped buying and selling things. Kids stopped running. And people stopped throwing fish. Everyone was looking at Rudolpho,  Antonio and those three brown pennies.

"See," Rudolpho said, "You just have to know what to listen for."

So, that's what I want to tell you. Decide what you will listen for. Choose the things that are important and then listen. Make listening your best thing. This world needs people who know how to listen. Listen with your ears and your heart and your soul. Listen to all the music and poetry and stories all around you. But especially, listen to all the music and poetry and stories that come from inside of you, because they will be especially true.

Source: Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope, Stories of Peace, Justice and the Environment, Ed. Ed Brody, Jay Goldspinner, Katie Green, Rona Leventhal and John Porcino of Stories for World Change Network, Philadelphia, New Society Publishers, 1992, pg. 201.


  1. It was a beautiful story and it must have been true. My favorite sound in the world is the sound of leaves in the wind. Every tree has its own voice and they are all beautiful. Every wind has its own composition too. I can hear them even in the crowd of the cities within thousands of people, unless, there is no tree where I am, where then I become an artist and imagine things, whatever I wish, just there, in the middle of a big shopping mall.


  2. Your blog has been introduced to me by one of my freind.
    I will come back and read your stories later.
    ButIliked your introduction about yourself.
    It seems that you have a lot to share. keep it up.
    Actually one of my freind is social worker and I was suggesting her to write or blog her experiences.
    It is the right position to connect to the heart of people and listen to their unique stories.

  3. What a wonderful story!!! You know, I was told recently that I could be a better listener, so imagine my surprise when the first story I chose to read here today addressed precisely that! :) I guess the Universe really does want me to learn the art of listening and I will. Such an enjoyable blog, thank you very much, I will definitely be back to read more stories! Thank you and keep up the good work!