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Frank the Grasshopper

Frank cleared the six-foot fence to land in the back yard of a beautiful brick house. The yard - more like a large patio - was bordered with flowers, and trimmed bushes displaying a rainbow of colors. A wide walkway wound 44 feet from the east side of the house. It met with the teak wood entry steps of a large covered gazebo in the south west corner. As an advanced scout for team 10 of the four fiftieth Grasshopper Hoard, Frank has the responsibility to collect the list of all edible elements in the back yard, then relay the findings to HQ.

He did another jump start; first landing in sand bordering the gazebo, then onto the top of the table, where the entire back yard became visible to him. His six-point landing was perfect. The first thing he noticed - less than a half inch from his mandibles - was a slice of a pickle, and not just any pickle. This is a Clausen's, Franks total favorite.

Protocol and procedure demanded advanced scouts refrain from eating - it's just not fair or morally correct. But Frank could not put the brakes on before he realized what was happening, half of that pickle slice was gone. About then Harlow, Franks team partner, landed a half inch away at his ten o'clock position.


"Frank?"
"Yea Harlow?"
"What's that green juice dripping off your right mandible?"
"Oh that, I overshot my jump and face planted into this slice of Clausen pickle. Some of the juice got on me."
"Yeah, Frank, and I'm a Cricket too, gimme a break, I know your psycho for pickles. You know advanced Scouts are not supposed to eat. Gonna have to report this up line, and you know what that means don't you?"
"Dang it Harlow, you're telling me that just because I had a half of a slice of a Clausen's pickle I'm going to lose my left Tibia. You ever hear the expression "I got your back?"
"No I haven't Frank, but I did hear this one. Report any protocol violations and receive a key to ferment village. Not to worry though Frank. I hear there replacing missing Tibia's with an excellent titanium prosthetic, honed to an indestructible razor-sharp tip, and it's complete with vibration and listening sensors."
"Yea Harlow, but with no foot."
Frank lifted off, cleared the gazebo and fence. He then did the honorable thing and submitted his written report - including the violation dictated to him by Harlow. The Hoard protocol committee endorsed it.

The four fiftieth Grasshopper Hoard then made its mass jump flight into the back yard. Of course, Frank followed procedures and reported to the Mobile Hoard Prosthetic Center(MHPC).
It only takes one human year to live into the sunset years of a grasshopper. Because of that time constraint they can accomplish anything at what a human will call high speed. That's what happened to Frank's, what we would call extremely short stay, at the MHPC.
An hour later - in human time - he lifted off with one destination in mind.

Later that day Robert, the human being and owner of the brick house, stood at the bay window watching the two guys from "Bug Killers Inc" as they applied killer spray to hundreds of grasshoppers.
Roger said, "Hey Jennifer" - that's Roberts wife - "check this out. There's a grasshopper in the Gazebo jumping up and down on that old dried out Clausen's pickle I left on the table."
Robert fetched his expanding telescope to focus on that one grasshopper. Fascinated by what he was seeing he turned to his wife and said, "Can't believe I'm seeing what I'm seeing."
What's that Robert?'
"Well, you know were both upset seeing all these critters chewing up a couple thousand dollars of plants. Now, watching that grasshopper, the one on top of that armour coated Clausen's; Jennifer, that has to be one frustrated, pegged leg grasshopper, trying to kick a hole in that cucumber."