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The Cricketary Tales of Jeffrey Jawser
Migration: Page Four
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Table of Contents
Translator with Jeffrey
PROLOGUE
The Locusts on Migration
Migration: Page Two
Migration: Page Three
Migration: Page Four
The Poet's Introduction
Intro: Page Two
Intro: Page Three
Intro: Page Four
Intro: Page Five
Intro: Page Six
Intro: Page Seven
Intro: Page Eight
Intro: Page Nine
Intro: Page Ten
Intro: Page Eleven
Intro: Page Twelve
Intro: Page Thirteen
The Bison's Tale
Bison: Page Two
Bison: Page Three
Bison: Page Four
The Serpent's Tale
Serpent: Page Two
Serpent: Page Three
Serpent: Page Four
Serpent: Page Five
The Salmon's Tale
Salmon: Page Two
Salmon: Page Three
A Whale of a Tale
Whale: Page Two
Whale: Page Three
Whale: Page Four
Whale: Page Five
Whale: Page Six
Whale: Page Seven
Whale: Page Eight
Whale: Page Nine
The Hummingbird's Tale
Hummingbird: Page Two
Hummingbird: Page Three
Hummingbird: Page Four
Hummingbird: Page Five
Hummingbird: Page Six
The Tern's Tale
Tern: Page Two
Tern: Page Three
Tern: Page Four
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They moved toward us on two legs tall as trees. With arms as thick as corn stalks they struck implements, producing that blood-curdling din. But now we had to move and fast! For these terrorists tore huge corn stalks and thrashed us with our own fodder. They ripped up bushes and branches to beat us to death. With horrible screams, an especially vicious mob crushed our eggs, jumping and trampling and pounding with sticks. "Locusts," they screamed. "Kill the locusts!"

Panic-stricken we piled upon each other in heaps. The enraged monsters threw fire on our huddled insects: load after load of burning leaves and litter and straw they hurled upon us.

In ghastly panic we tried to flee every which way. But they surrounded us, dug trenches in the ground, swept us in, cast more flame on us, shoveled more dirt upon us. We choked and burned and screamed and suffocated.

The Monstrous Fire

Yes, many of us escaped to the air. But were we any more victorious than those who met death on the ground? No! For though in chaos and delirium my body was scattered to the sky, my soul was in the burning ditch in which I beheld Pagoda lie. A million locusts were swept aloft in a whirlwind of confusion, I among that number. "FREEDOM!" they all shouted, "FREEDOM, FREEDOM!" But "Pagoda, Pagoda!" was all that I could utter. I didn't fly - I was conveyed away, pressed in a mass of whirring insects. And "Pagoda" I would cry with every spin and swirl.

But now a bug right by my side heard my cries and offered counsel. "Things cannot be otherwise," he pronounced.

For distraction's sake I answered him and asked what was his meaning. "What happened just now was indispensable," he continued, "a necessary ingredient in this best of possible worlds."

"If this," I shot back, "is the best of all possible worlds, what can the others be like?"

This philosopher, this Doctor Painloss as he called himself, hastened to assure me that God is perfection, that He created a perfect universe, that what we see as evil is in reality part of a grand and good design. Locusts must accept their lot - not try to understand or change it. "No doubt," the good doctor went on, "God employed this expedient as a means to punish sinful insects."

"But what of the millions of INNOCENTS who perished with the sinners? What about my Pagoda?"

I was furious now and prepared to grapple with this wise bug. I strained with all my tormented mind to rebut his foolish argument. But an overpowering wind tore me from him and bore me far to a distant continent.

...far to a distant continent.