Once upon a time there was a cricket who lived in a woodpile. It was cold in the woodpile and a creepy fungus grew there, but the cricket had seen worse. The cricket could *imagine* much worse. “At least no one is shooting at me,” he said, and went about his business.
Every day a woodsman split and stacked more wood on this wood pile. One day the extra load discharged a large wood shaving that dropped right into the cricket’s bath behind him as he reached for the soap. The shaving made an enormous splash. Most of the water in the cricket’s bathtub went all over everywhere. “Oh well,” said the cricket, an hour later when the mopping up was nearly done. “I’m very late for work now, but at least no one is shooting at me.” And off he went about his business.
Time passed. The woodsman continued to split and stack wood on the woodpile, because winter was right around the corner and you can’t be too prepared. One Saturday morning, the cricket thought he’d sleep-in for a while, and brought his newspaper back to bed along with a big mug of very good coffee — dark roast, ground fine and brewed in a press-pot for the fullest flavor. The cricket’s bed, by the way, was a little wooden Diamond Matches matchbox with the drawer slid half-way open. He used a scrap of olive brocade from an upholsterer’s sample book for a duvet cover, and scraps of an old t-shirt for sheets.
He had just climbed back into the match box and drawn up the upholstery scrap when he heard a great, grinding clatter. Dust sifted down from the log overhead and the power went out. The cricket was very frightened. He dove down beneath the blankets to the very foot of the bed. After a time in which no further noises were heard and no more dust sifted down — but no lights came on either — he poked his nose out and said, “Well, at least no one is shooting at me,” and went about his business in the dark, although (he soon discovered) he was also without water because his well-pump was electric.
Some weeks passed and the cricket started to notice that the sun seemed to filter in earlier and more brightly than before. It was still very cold, but he thought this might be a thing to celebrate. He made a mental note to buy a package of Swedish ginger thins the next time he was in the supermarket, and make a little party for himself. But before he could get around to doing this, he awakened one morning with a sick feeling of enormous shifting movement: the log beneath his matchbox bed was being lifted up, and he felt a coolness on his cheeks as he was carried with it, up out into the open air. He sat up in his matchbox bed just in time to see and feel himself being flung into the fire in the woodsman’s Sam Daniels furnace.
“Oh well,” he thought as the fierce heat of the wood fire blossomed against his shiny cricket cheek. The very last thought that went through his mind before he was burnt to a cinder was, “At least no one is shooting at me.”
In heaven, God was watching all this, and made a mental note to smite the woodsman for being so unobservant as to fling into the fire a cute little matchbox, tricked out like a bed with a brocade duvet, in which sat up a tiny cricket wearing striped pajamas and a resigned expression. But in the press of other business, He never got around to it and the woodsman lived, reasonably content, for a good long while thereafter.