augury doggerel

Tuesday, June 25, 2002


In the woods, the kid picked up a grasshopper shorter than the width of my fingernail and said she was taking it home. She cupped her right hand over her left, opened an air hole between two fingers, and walked.

We tried the usual explanations for why a grasshopper would be happier in the woods: there's nothing for a grasshopper to eat at home, the cat would eat the grasshopper, the grasshopper would be lonely, the grass is the place for a grasshopper. But she wanted it home.

We came to a meadow, a wide spread of long green blades. This, we swore, was grasshopper paradise, full of friends and food, with lots of grass to hop.

So she lifted one hand away from the other, and there the grasshopper sat on her open palm. And looked. Did it wonder? It gave three quick kicks to its right cheek with a forefoot, scratched the smallest itch. And waited.


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