But there we were already midway in our voyage and all was uneventful: nothing but crunching and munching. Well, I should
say our flights were imposing. So immense was our swarm - such an infinity of insects - that NINE HOURS would crawl by before
all of us soared by. The very sun was struck sightless, for not a ray of its light could penetrate our insect hoard, one hundred
feet deep! So close did we fly together that the beating of our wings against each other generated a deafening noise. And
every eye on earth fell stone blind in the shadow of our twenty-mile-wide black cloud. Yes, it stirred our souls that our
flight could divert sunny day to somber night. Still, most often earthbound, we sat crunching and munching.
a cornfield vast and green we alighted all to feed: it was a day like any other. Busily we were chomping and chewing, happily
nibbling and gnawing - one hundred billion locusts! (You may wonder, dear reader, at this number, but it is accurate, I assure
you.) One hundred BILLION locusts and I the only cricket!
I don't believe I stood out. Who could detect the nice distinction setting me off from the endless others? And yet she noticed.
Perhaps because I sang. Most days I would fly at the very front of the throng humming and whistling and warbling
my heart out. All the old songs! A whole host of us did. Did she take note of me?
Yes, clear as day she did.
For now she perched beside me with a smile on her enchanting maxillae. A challenge issued from every facet of her compound
eyes. She knew, she insisted, more songs than did I.
OK. We tossed snippets of song back and forth to each other.
Ah, that insect! She DID have at her sheer wing tips more ditties about flowers. But I had in head more lyrics to the moon.
Why, that locust knew by heart a dozen arias to April showers! But then this cricket was master of more ballads about June.
Ah, how we crooned and carried on. Wow, what a glowing twilight. Oh how we wished... But how could we ever manage,
we wondered - amidst this mob - to be alone? We managed, we managed. Love finds a way.
Yep, I found the love
of my life on this migration. An insect sharp and bright, with wit as nimble as a sparrow. A locust shapely and fair, and
sweet as spring clover. She called herself Pagoda.