Archive for Children

The Four Legged Grasshopper

Posted in Short Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2012 by Kinetic Orochi

Grasshoppers have six legs, the front four are used for slow regular walking, like we do. The two in the very back are called hind legs, much bigger than the other four, they are used for those big jumps you often see grasshoppers do. When Nicole found Jene, she was missing her right hind leg, and her left was broken. She was helpless and would probably not survive the next 24 hours as she was. She was mainly subject to being prey for other animals, secondly she would probably be stepped on and the person would not even notice, just like she probably was before she lost her hind legs.

It was a regular school day in the spring. Nicole was in her 3rd grade and was outside in the playground for her recess. The kids were playing hide and seek. Nicole was very good at hiding, behind a tree she would hide and looked to see if she was being looked for. She turned around and giggled, the kid kept looking for her but could not figure out where she was. She looked around and stared at the grass for a minute and saw a strange insect. A young grasshopper, its wings still not grown, was missing a hind leg, and the other was broken.

“Awww” she expressed sadly feeling pity for the poor insect. She grabbed it and held it in her palm, the grasshopper barely moved around, probably wondering where he had suddenly gone to. “Poor thing, I can’t leave you here or you will probably die, I’ll take care of you” she said as she carefully put it in her pocket. Nicole came out from behind the tree and the kid said “I found you!”

“I don’t want to play anymore, I’m going in the class.” Nicole said, with her hands in her pockets.

For the next three hours the grasshopper was in the pocket. In this dark place it could only see darkness, moved a bit but wouldn’t get far. It would often feel something slowly coming into the darkness, carefully to feel if it was still there. It was during these moments, which were very regular that it would manage to see some light. It was finally until the final third hour that Nicole finally grabbed it  and took it out. In the school bus, Nicole examined it a little longer. Its eyes seem sad, probably because of its misfortune she thought. “Don’t worry, I will help you.” She told it. The kids behind her seat looked over and started whispering.

“Look! Nic has a grasshopper!” one yelled. “Oh can I see it?” another said, “Let me see what it feels like” another one exclaimed and just like that, the whole school bus full of kids were all intrigued by the grasshopper. “What’s its name?” One of the kids asked.

“Jene, she’s a girl.” Nicole said.

“How do you know she’s a girl?” another kid asked, a boy.

“I just know okay.” Nicole replied confident.

When Nicole finally got to her house, she opened the door, which was usually left open for her and went straight to her room. She took out the Jene out of her pocket and put it on her bed. Nicole laid on the bed and watched Jene barely move. Nicole offered her finger as to play with her and Jene tried to climb the finger with its working legs, this made Nicole smile.

“Well what’s so urgent that you come home and not say hello to your mother?” a woman’s voice said from the door.

“Hi mommy! look, it’s my new pet!” Nicole replied

“You know we can’t have pets in the apartment? But what is it? I don’t see it” her mom said. Nicole grabbed Jene and put her in her hands, then she closed her hands as if praying but left space for Jene. She then walked toward her mother and opened her hands to reveal Jene. “She’s Jene, she can’t jump!” she exclaimed.

“Aw poor bug” her mom also couldn’t help but feel pity for Jene.

“Please can we keep it?” Nicole asked.

“Okay, but keep it inside something, or you might lose it.” her mom told her. They found one of those long cans of chips, about the size of a ruler and Nicole would then put Jene in there and take her with her every time she went out. Jene would survive more than the 24 hours she would have lived at most. She survived days, and weeks, and maybe years.

Nicole always took Jene to school with her, she didn’t want to leave it alone because her little brother might find it and let it out, to forever be lost. She kept the can in her backpack and took it with her at all times, she was very protective of Jene. Jene didn’t mind at all, it often was exploring the can it was in and was not always caged. Sometimes the can would be open for whatever reason and explored outside of the can. Often it would find a place similar to her home, with plenty of food that she would feed on. Often Jene met strange figures that looked like Nicole but much smaller, they moved though. Jene tried to touch them a couple of times but they felt a little weird so she would let go, a lot of the times the figures simply disappeared. Then she would be put back in the place where she usually was and be moved around pretty fast as if flying. Someday she would fly too Jene knew, she could feel it would be soon. Jene looked outside the can, at the concrete, the trees, the grass. Her can had been upgraded from a normal one, to a transparent one, so now she could see things through the plastic.

It was because of this that one of the kids saw Jene in Nicole’s open backpack. “Look Mr. Susaki! Nicole’s got a bug in her backpack!” the kid yelled it out in the classroom. Mr. Susaki was her substitute teacher for this day, and he was interested in this as so were all the other kids. Nicole having no choice showed Jene to Mr. Susaki. Jene, who’s wings were almost fully grown was starting to learn how to fly around the can. It was her new hobby. Jene was excited about this, finally she could travel much faster than what she usually could. Back when Nicole found her she almost had given complete hope, but now, she knew that she could finally travel farther to places she couldn’t reach before.

“I only got one word to say about this…” Mr. Susaki said, “Awesome” he said. He stopped inspecting Jene and gave her back to Nicole. Nicole then took it to her backpack again and put it in there. She stuck her tongue out at the kid celebrating her victory.

The last day Nicole saw Jene was three weeks after she had found her. It was a morning before class. Nicole had woken up late and was in a rush to get her things so she could catch the bus. In the rush of things the bus came so she left with what she could, and later on the bus, she realized she had left Jene. All day, Nicole had been worried about Jene, she knew her little 5yr old brother Jack would go into her room and try to play with her. He always would go in her room and ask Nicole if she could, a few times she had but other times she told him no.

When Nicole got home, she rushed through the living room and went in her bedroom to look for Jene, she went to her can was and there it was, but it was open, just as she had suspected. She searched front and back, second and first floor, moved her stuff around, asked Jack, then asked her mom, but nothing.

“Nicole, Jene fly, she fly.” Jack told her.

“Listen to what he says hun, she must have flew out of the house.” her mom explained to her.

“But it was closed, maybe its lost, she doesn’t have her legs, I promised I would take care of her.” Nicole cried, the loss of her first real pet was very upsetting for her. That night, Nicole was awake for a while, hoping that suddenly Jene would come back to her, the night was quiet, the moon was full. But nothing, no Jene, all there was, was a far away noise, a sound, a song maybe and with this she finally went to sleep. A few weeks later she got over Jene, she made up with the idea that she went back home with her parents maybe, or other grasshoppers.

Jene stood on the tree branch at its usual time, around 9:00 p.m. She would fold her wing and lift her broken leg up and rubbed it against her wings as if playing the violin, this produced a grasshopper song, she would always play it for Nicole to help her go to sleep. Sometimes she would play something different, sometimes she would sing with her wings. She would rub both wings together and produce a beautiful sleep song that would play in Nicole’s dreams, a thank you song for Nicole. (To be Edited)