Mornings found us lined up early, the very first ones ready in that vast multitude to fly off for the day. It isn't easy to
be first among one hundred billion. But in our legion of locusts Pagoda and I stood every morning in the vanguard. Claw in
claw we would wait for the call: THE FLIGHT IS LEAVING!
The moment we sprang into the air we sprouted poetry. We
had discovered a new and upcoming young poet and loved his work so much that all our reading time went to him. We read to
each other - out loud even as we winged our way - his 154 Sonnets.
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art a lovely locust, temperate..."
(How glorious to sing thus as we soared in the sky - two healthy
cultured insects, Pagoda and I.)
"So long as bugs can breath, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and
this gives life to thee."
We studied The Rape of Lacewing, and Venus Traps the Fly Adonis. We flew through
twenty-two Shakebeard plays. In scorching fields we read, in drenching rains...
Then we leaped to a higher dimension,
Pagoda and I. We gathered a company of like-minded arthropods and PRODUCED four Shakebeard plays. How the locusts loved it!
The fields were now theaters, and the air was filled with joyful cheeps and chirps.
But lord, what fools these
insects be! How quick bright things come to confusion.
At a rest stop in a cornfield (we had just finished lunch)
our cast was rehearsing "A Midsummer's Nightmare." Bottam was hiding in some corn tassels, waiting for his cue.
"I'll meet thee, Pyramid, at Nimmy's tomb." Bottam was now to emerge from the corn silk in an ant lion's
Instead, pandemonium! A blast, a boom, a ringing and a drumming, a cannonade of unearthly thunder! So fearful and deafening
the blare we were instantaneously struck motionless in terror. Only the eyes could move. I saw Pagoda near by, but was she
breathing? Was my heart beating?
Beyond our little company of actors posed the multitude - locusts as far as eye
could see. And every one as still as death! The horrible clangor intensified brutally, amplifying every moment ten times louder.
Extreme dread froze us in horror. Yes, our blood had congealed, turned to ice in our vessels.
But then appeared a
sight that drained my cricket green to deathly pale. Monsters! Grotesque hulking enormities! In all my stages and changes
of life I had never seen such freaks, so gigantic and revolting.