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The Cricketary Tales of Jeffrey Jawser
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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
Contact the Author
PROLOGUE

Improbable though it may seem, this fantastic story before you - so like strange fiction or someone's mad dream - is true to the very last word.

Truth IS stranger than fiction. And what could be more singular than the chance which enabled me, an ordinary scribbler, to uncover the most extraordinary body of writing on the face of the earth?

I had been working on a book about crickets. I often lay all night in the dark listening to as many chirps as there are stars in the sky. In daylight I followed this cricket or that as he or she jumped here and there. I observed them closely as they sat motionless. (Crickets do sit still for eternity, and this permitted me to study them carefully.) I was able to distinguish one from the other by minute physical differences.

But aural differences! To tell one cricket from another by the sound of his voice - this would be a marvel. And yet the time came when I could do just that. I had, of course, studied cricket communication and could determine pitch, frequency and rhythm - could even count the number of teeth scraped by the wings in the various calls. But to think that all this could combine to carry intelligible information to me! That I could find out the true meaning of those endless and apparently identical sounds! I could understand the message; I had broken the cricket code! This was a major scientific breakthrough.

Breaking through was like walking through Alice's looking glass. I stepped inside a mesmeric mirror into a world of... I heard - oh, words, words, words... Darn words anyway! What words can persuade the reader? OK, I'll say it plain: I befriended a cricket. A communicating insect - eloquent, lofty, sublime! A poet! Shall I give him a name? Let's call him Jeff Jawser.

Did not Gulliver lie on his back and converse with creatures six inches tall? Yes, and he was able to learn the language of these tiny Lilliputians. Then perhaps you will not find it difficult to imagine me, a tall, thin male in his early fifties, reclining on the ground with head propped on one hand, pen placed in the other, and both ears cocked to the chirps of a cricket.

A scientific breakthrough, yes. But equally important, a literary bonanza. For I was privileged to hear a story unique in all the world. Jawser divulged to me all his fables, legends, histories, adventures, and love stories.

He had them recorded - no doubt about that, for he often spoke of his notebooks. Yet he never let me see them. Together they must have formed a massive tome.

He thought he would call them The Campers' Merry Tales. But he was not sure and wanted my opinion. I suggested that this title might be misleading for, funny as some of the stories might be, others are sober and serious. And anyway, camping hardly takes center stage in the story, though the characters DO camp out every night.

Well, Jawser next settled on a tongue twister of a title, and would not be moved from that. These then are The Cricketary Tales of Jeffrey Jawser, translated from the Olde Cricketese by me in Oakland, California in 1993.

Gene Gordon



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