Invasion Of Caelifera!
I felt another presence nearby and glanced out of the window this morning. I was pleasantly surprised to see a parrot inquiringly looking at me, with its head turned to a side. It stared at me a few moments longer, and then uttered an agitated squawk and took off, flapping its wings. I wonder what alarmed it? That got me thinking of our school days, when each house was assigned a colour. Mine was green. During the sports meet, the captains had to come up with an idea to depict the colour of the house when designing a badge. We had leaves, a four leaved clover, a green chillie, a frog, a bunch of grapes and a grasshopper on successive years. Ah, (shudder) a grasshopper….
A few nights ago, I was reading in bed, when I a paused to glance up. I saw two beady eyes staring at me. There was an enormous grasshopper perched up there. I stared back, and it glared at me. I yelled out. Dancing Doll was asleep but Beautiful Dreamer came drifting in and asked me what I was shouting about. She said I should just ignore it, as it was not really bothering me. So I said I would knock off the lights and only put my bedside lamp on. A while later, I turned over towards the lamp, and guess who was perched on top of it, staring at me? The green eyed monster, waving its mandibles menacingly! I shrieked and it flew right at me. I grabbed a pillow and thumped it around, but it still kept on trying to get at me. I had bellowed loudly and B.D. came in and asked me in an exasperated way,”Now what are you yelling at?” I told her that the creature was attacking me. She thought this was very funny, but went out of the room and came back purposefully holding a broom and a waste paper basket. She is an expert exterminator. She has nerves of steel and will fearlessly attack until she destroys the enemy. Beware; do not get in her bad books! She ran around the room waving the broom and thwacking it about mercilessly. Then she stopped, panting, and said,” I think it flew into the air conditioner vent.” I thanked her profusely, hoping I had seen the last of it.
I resumed reading for a while and then knocked off my bedside lamp. After two minutes, I heard a loud chirping sound like a cricket. I listened fearfully in the dark. It chirped menacingly again. I quickly took my cell phone and called B.D. and said that it was making threatening noises at me. She asked me where it was and I said I could not see, because I knocked the light off. She came in and turned the light on and started laughing loudly. “What are you snorting about?” I asked her. She said that it was lying on the bed next to me! I shrieked and yelled whilst she grabbed a pillow and did some hefty thumping. Then she said; she thought it finally went outside. It was enough excitement to give me a heart attack.
Would you believe it; some people actually eat this creepy insect? I know in Africa where there is a huge scarcity of food, any protein that these poor guys can lay their hands on is greatly appreciated. But in places like Mexico, they are boiled or eaten raw,(yuck!) sun-dried, fried, flavoured with spices like garlic, chillie and onions, soaked in lime, cooked in a soup or used in a filling. That would be a good place for me to lose weight. In certain Chinese markets, they are sold on skewers. In some parts of the Middle East, they are boiled with salt, then dried out in the sun and then eaten as snacks. Gives me the creeps!
From the time we were little, we knew about the grasshopper because of the Greek slave who was a story-teller, called Aesop. He told the tale of the busy ant and the happy-go-lucky grasshopper. There is also the poem by Conrad Potter Aiken titled “The Grasshopper”. Some of it goes like this,
“ Grasshopper, grasshopper,
All day long,
We hear your scraping summer song,
Like rusty fiddles in the grass,
As through the meadow path we pass.
Such funny legs, such funny feet…..”
Well, I definitely do not think this creepy green monster is funny at all. But I admit I’m quite partial to the cocktail named after it!
- Honky Tonk Woman