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Joe stepped over and looked into the thicket. He found a quantity of dead leaves, sticks, and litter thrown aside, exposing to light a long, hollowed place on the ground. It was what would be seen after rolling over a log that had lain for a long time. Little furrows in the ground, holes, mounds, and curious winding passages showed where grubs and crickets had made their homes.

But the sounds had ceased; and there came from the orchards, with their mulberry-trees glistening in the moonlight, and their black swaying cypress-plumes, nothing save the confused hum, the monotonous chirp, of the crickets.

Byron has described the conduct of the morose peer in very strong terms: "After his trial he shut himself up at Newstead, and was in the habit of feeding crickets, which were his only companions. He made them so tame that they used to crawl over him, and, when they were too familiar, he whipped them with a wisp of straw: at his death, it is said, they left the house in a body."

He works with the Ground Gleaners in searching the grass and low bushes for grasshoppers and crickets; he searches the trees for caterpillars in company with the Tree Trappers; and in eating blueberries, cranberries, wild grapes, and other fruits he works with the Seed Sowers also.

In dinner-giving, as in life, it is the part of genius to turn disaster into advantage. "I was once at a dinner-party," said an accomplisht diner-out, "apparently of undertakers hired to mourn for the joints and birds in the dishes, when part of the ceiling fell. From that moment the guests were as merry as crickets."

To whatever degree the surrounding conditions might vary, there could no longer be a doubt that the power of leaping high into the air was the essential constituent of success in this barbarian match of crickets and in such an accomplishment this person excelled from the time of his youth with a truly incredible proficiency.

When the crops, having resisted many enemies, appeared above ground, they were attacked by the mole crickets in formidable numbers. These destructive insects lived beneath the small solid clods of earth, and issuing forth at night, they bit the young shoot clean off close to the parent grain at the point of extreme sweetness.

In the canalised stream which runs into Oxford city itself there were numbers, which not only burrowed in the bank, but made homes in all the chinks of stone and brick river walls, and sides of locks, and in the wood of the weiring, where they sat ensconced as snugly as crickets round a brick farmhouse kitchen fireplace.

And interweaving with it all, one continuous shrilling, keen as the steel speech of a saw, the stridulous telegraphy of crickets. But always, always, dreaming or awake, she heard the huge blind Sea chanting that mystic and eternal hymn, which none may hear without awe, which no musician can learn,

But they come to other places not far distant from the road, and one summer a grasshopper-lark could be heard in some meadows where I had not heard it the two preceding seasons. On the mounds field crickets cry persistently. At the end of the hedge which is near a brook, a sedge-reedling takes up his residence in the spring.

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