Sunday, August 29, 2004

I am a regular visitor to Paxton Gate. The inventory resembles that of an ancient wunderkammer. You can buy Venus Flytraps, old faded bottles, taxidermical wonders, handmade scissors, mink penis bones, enormous walking stick insects or anything else you might need as an ingredient in a magic potion.

I have bought iridescent butterflies there as (luminous) gifts. Yesterday I was there looking for a cricket cage. They only had some expensive ones made of bone so I will try my luck at Chinatown. But while conducting some online research about cricket cages I stumbled upon the Cultural Entomology Digest.

Near him two foxes: down the row of grapes
One ranging steals the ripest, one assails
With wiles the poor lad's scrip, to leave him soon
Stranded and supportless. "He plaits meanwhile then
With ears of corn a right fine cricket cage,
and fits it on a rush: for vines, for scrip,
Little he cares, enamored of his toy."

Theokritos (250 BC)

There are indications of a Greek Cricket culture and a fascination with singing insects which were carried around I suppose as a form of acoustic ornament.

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