There is no sweeter music than the Song of Grasshopper. Only the female grasshopper sings this song. The male grasshoppers cannot sing it at all because they do not know the notes. The song is passed from mother to daughter throughout the generations. Should a grasshopper daughter lose her mother to some tragic force of nature before she learns the song, her eldest Auntie Grasshopper is responsible for taking the young daughter under her wing until she learns the song. Because grasshoppers have terrible body odor, it usually doesn’t take very long for the young orphan to learn the song because that is the only way she can escape the under wing odor of her Auntie.
It was most unfortunate for Gabriella Grasshopper when she lost her mother, Ginger, when she was but a few days old. Gabriella had many aunts, but none of them could remember for certain which one was the oldest. Truth be known, it was most likely that Auntie Godiva was the oldest, but she suffered from Grassenheimer Disease and was not in any shape to carry a young orphan under her wing.
The other aunts argued about who should be responsible for Gabriella. None of them really wanted her because they all wanted to hop around in the all-night gardens at the nearby college. All of the young handsome male grasshoppers lived in the campus dorms at Grassy State University. The aunts were hopping wild in those days and could not be bothered with young Gabriella while so many young men were strutting about their long spindly legs. For many years, Gabriella was tossed from one aunt to the next, but none of them could be bothered to take the young orphan under her wing. That is why Gabriella Grasshopper grew up without any supervision.
Gabriella was a true child of nature. She was left to hop about as it pleased her. For a long time she was content to stay in the flower gardens near Auntie Godiva’s house. A nice sprinkler went off and gave Gabriella and Auntie Godiva a delightfully refreshing shower in the late afternoons. Gabriella enjoyed hopping through the water as she tried to jump over the tiny rainbows that shone behind the waters. Sometimes Auntie Godiva joined Gabriella in her afternoon games, an act that made the neighbors hopping mad as it was not fitting for a lady of Auntie Godiva’s age to hop about like this. Most of the time, Auntie Godiva stayed in the shady shadows and left Gabriella to raise herself.
As a teenager, Gabriella grew a wild leg and passed through a rebellious period. She grew tired of nibbling on the bountiful crab grass and started munching marigolds, which were only supposed to be consumed on Saturday with the sweet dew of fresh Miracle Gro. Gabriella had not learned that treats should be consumed in moderation. One day Gabriella noticed that her back legs were a bit larger than the other grasshopper girls her age. Auntie Godiva warned Gabriella that she would become overweight if she continued to over-indulge in the marigolds. She thought a little extra hopping about would prevent weight gain. Besides, she had heard that you would not gain any weight at all if you drank from the muddy ditch 3 times a day. She was to learn better.
One day a gang of grasshopper gals asked Gabriella to spend the day with them, and she was delighted to join them! The girl grasshopper gang took Gabriella to the corn fields. Auntie Godiva had sheltered Gabriella from the wicked ways of grasshoppers who frequent the corn fields. The girls of the grasshopper gang soon convinced Gabriella to nibble on the corn. She had never been high before and fell off the ear of corn into the hollow of the corn stalk after just one kernel. After only 2 visits, Gabriella Grasshopper was hooked on corn. She enjoyed the delicious high of the delicate kernels. After she ate herself high, Gabriella napped in the folds of the leaves until the big irrigation machine drenched her with sobering water. Then she went home to gorge herself on marigolds.
One day Gabriella paused over her reflection in the goldfish pond, and she could not believe what she saw. “When did I gain all this weight,” Gabriella asked. “How could this be?” For the first time in her life, Gabriella experienced depression. She knew just want to do for such a low feeling. Off to the corn fields she went. After that she ate marigolds until she fell asleep in the marigold bed. Very slowly Gabriella got into a terrible habit of eating at odd times and for comfort. She grew larger and larger until it took a great effort for her to get up the stalk to gorge herself on the corn that brought her a temporary bliss. Eventually, Gabriella became so overweight that she had to drag her huge back legs behind her. She lost her hop. She became known as Gabriella the Grouch because she was mean to everyone around her.
One day Gabriella heard a low scratchy voice from the side of the row as she slowly made her way to the corn field, dragging her heavy legs behind her. It was the voice of a huge spider. “Hey there, Hoppin Hunny! Come on over here. Old Fat Arachnid has something for you .” Gabriella had never seen such a creature as Fat Arachnid, and she was fascinated with him. He motioned for her to come back behind the corn rows with him. With an excited trepidation, Gabriella started his way.
Suddenly, from out of no where, jumped a ethereally tall and thin lady grasshopper. Gabriella had seen photographs of the all woman Grassazon tribe of grasshoppers before, but she thought they were long endstink. She was in shock to see this valiant warrior here in the corn rows. The tall grasshopper warrior jumped right between Gabriella and Fat Arachnid.
“What DO YOU think you are doing?” the tall one asked Gabriella.
“Not that it is any of YOUR business, she is going for a walk with me,” Fat Arachnid interrupted as he dangled a plump kernel of corn before the two grasshoppers.
Gabriella made an effort to jump past the Grassazon warrior, but she could not move as quickly as she used to. She could not get around. The warrior kicked Fat Arachnid backwards with the swift action of her back leg, and he was knocked unconscious for several hours.
The Grassazon warrior gave Gabriella a stern look and said, “I was a friend of your mother, Gabriella. We learned to sing together and were inseparable until Ginger’s unforeseen and untimely death.”
“SO?” challenged Gabriella.
“ I am here because your Aunt Godiva called with the Song of the Grasshopper. She told me that no one has ever taken you under the wing, and I am here to fix that problem. First, though, you must lose some weight. Your back legs are much to big to fit up under my wing.”
Gabriella started to back away from the Grassazon warrior. She needed corn.
“My name is Gay Gisella Grasshopper. Most people call me Gisella, but Ginger always called me Gay. She said I brought happiness to her life. It is time for me to do the same for you my dear. Come away from the corn with me.”
Gabriella was overcome by the maternal kindness of this stranger and agreed to go with her. Gay Gisella took Gabriella to a cool place under the shadow of a large rock. She showed Gabriella photographs of Ginger when Ginger was a young girl, peeking from beneath the wing of her own mother. She also had photographs of Ginger singing the Song of the Grasshopper.
“You know, Gabriella, your mother was very excited the day she laid your egg. She tried for several years to lay an egg, and you were a dream come true to her. Ginger spent many hours planning out your grassette and dreaming about taking you under her wing. I’m sorry you never knew her.”
Gabriella softly cried. “It is too late for me to learn the Song of Grasshopper now. Why did this happen to me?”
“Shoosh now,” crooned Gay Gisella. “We cannot question the Grass God. There is a reason for everything. “ Gay Gisella gently wiped Gabriella’s tears away. “I should have come to you a long time ago, Gabriella. I did not come because it was not my place to step in. Your aunts should have taken you under the wing. Auntie Godiva did what she could, but she is not able to take you under the wing. I cannot undo what is done, but I can take you under the wing now.”
“No you can’t! My back legs are too big now,” sniffled Gabriella.
“This is true my dear. However, this is not a problem that cannot be fixed. You just need a good diet and extra exercise. We will have you hopping again in no time.”
“Oh no. I cannot do it. I love corn and marigolds. I cannot give them up. It is TOO HARD!” Gabriella was already looking back towards the corn patch.
“Oh yes you CAN do it, Little Missy,” Gay Gisella said sternly. “And did you even hear anyone say you cannot have corn or marigolds? You can have them. You just need a plan. My own mother was a grassitition, so I can help with this.”
For 3 months, Gabriella had a breakfast of 1 dandelion bud with a little milkweed. She had another dandelion with milkweed and a nice cup of honeysuckle nectar. The fiber and protein filled breakfast and lunch satisfied Gabriella most days, and that allowed her to have a scrumptious dinner of corn and crabgrass. Every Saturday she was allowed to munch marigolds after her exercise.
After 2 weeks, Gabriella was making small and not so painful hops again.
After 2 months, Gabriella was hop hop hopping around the block.
At the end of the 4th month, Gabriella had lost enough weight to fit under Gay Gisella’s wing. The comfort from winged nurturing was something that Gabriella had longed for all of her life. Gay Gisella the Grassazon Warrior taught the orphan the Song of Grasshopper.
Two short years later, the graceful Gabriella Grasshopper won the Entertainer of the Grass Award for her heart-wrenching performance of Song of Grasshopper. Gabriella sang the song in memory of her mother and dedicated it to Gay Gisella.
The next day Gabriella took Gay Gisella aside and explained that they were about to embark on the slow process of whittling the excess crabgrass from Gay Gisella’s back legs. This was an enormous task for an old grasshopper like Gay Gisella, but Gabriella knew she could make losing weight fun for her friend.
This happy story, my grasshopper friends, end with a hug and large love.
The Soon To Be Slim End