by Janet Slike -
When Simon the cricket saw the sun start its nightly fall, he knew what to do. He left the cool shade and leapt toward the wheat fields. As he jumped through the village he sang the songs the cooks expected. When Simon sang, the cooks knew it was time to add basil to their chicken stew. The farmers would soon be home for dinner.
“Why do we need clocks? The cricket keeps our time for us,” the villagers all agreed.
As the farmers’ workday was ending, Simon’s was just beginning.
Simon sang the first few notes to the wheat. From far and wide, crickets joined him. They all knew their parts. The crickets sang songs about planting time and harvest time, songs about the cool rain and the hot sun. The crickets sang to remind the wheat of the pureness of bread and the sweetness of cake, hoping to inspire the wheat with visions of what it could become. As the wheat would someday nourish the villagers, the crickets wanted to nourish the wheat.
One day, the villagers gathered around Simon. He worried they had decided to buy clocks. Instead, they said, “You are a great singer. Why don’t you sing for something more than the wheat? Why don’t you sing to the sea?”
At first Simon thought the idea was crazy. He hoped to maybe see the sea someday, but he hadn’t dared to dream bigger than that.
But the other crickets agreed with the villagers.
“You are a great singer. Yes, you must go sing for the sea.”
Singing for the sea was exciting but scary. Simon wasn’t sure he was brave enough.
Simon wasn’t sure he could compose a song worthy enough.
But he knew he had to do it.
“The song will be ready when I get there,” he said.
He said his good-byes.
“We will miss you,” the cooks cried.
“But the sea needs to hear you,” the farmers told him...