Cicadas  + Basenji  = Cicada Hunt

by Sylvia Jordan
(Note:  This is the first of a series of stories from our members sharing what life is like with their basenjis.) 

Some people and their basenjis team up for a barn hunt.  Mandi & I team up for a cicada hunt. Mandi always seems to be in hunt mode when we walk (on leash) & I enjoy watching her. While chasing & catching are not permitted, she is allowed, however, to search for and consume cicadas.

On one late July morning this year, Mandi woke up first and started hinting that I should get out of bed.  I knew what she wanted. She was eager to begin our seasonal hunt for cicadas! We have gone on this hunt in our neighborhood for many years in late summer, but unfortunately, cicadas are not abundant this year.  Nevertheless, “Team Cicada” persists & prowls the sidewalks and streets in search of the crunchy treats.

Each morning when we leave, I have no doubt whatsoever that she is on a mission – to find & eat cicadas!
And, yes, we both have been fooled, rushing ahead, only to find a piece of bark, an acorn or a pebble.  Nymphs and adults – dead or alive – are fair game, but shed skins are ignored.  She has even learned to check for ants on a cicada before grabbing it.  When I spot a  cicada that she missed, I call her name, point to the cicada and she comes running. Gulp! Down the hatch!  A few times I have held her up so that she could pluck a tasty little protein morsel from a tree or post.  Unfortunately, cicada season is not long, and she has no interest in June bugs, grasshoppers or other insects.  We will have a long wait until next year!