Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Grasshopper Boy -by John L. Waters

When the summer was very young the late June grasshopper nymph had nothing but nubbins for wings.  The creature hopped amongst green tender shoots of calendulas and other delicate plants.  Its soft callow flesh was as green as the green leaves it lived on - and this was a mighty blessing which made the hopper beast almost invisible to hungry dino-birds.  

As much as Geppetto's pride and joy pine puppet Pinocchio wanted to become a real live boy, the grasshopper boy wanted to become a grasshopper.  He often was seen pulling along behind him a large wooden green grasshopper toy. It was a twenty-incher - a green toy with bright red wooden wheels.  The device had been purchased by his mother from The Children's Shop - located about two miles away - down on West De La Guerra Street about half a block west of State Street.  Right near Ralph Runkle's Shoe Shop.

This was the boy's one and only pull toy.  It was his own pride and joy!  And like Pinocchio, this boy was living in a make-believe fairy tale world.  A little like a diminutive Jurassic Park.  Away back in the year 1944.

Biology was everywhere here and the grasshopper boy was truly a roving biologist.  He wandered all around the yard - which covered approximately two-fifths of an acre.  The garden teemed with worms, butterflies, wasps, bees, ants, spiders, ladybugs, millipedes, centipedes, and other types of intrepid fliers and small creepy crawlies.  And the boy also explored all the plants and examined them lovingly each day.

A three foot thick hedge of Eugenia grew eight feet high around the garden's perimeter, and chicken-wire fencing kept out roaming stray dogs and lost children.  Although he was intimidated by strange dogs and unfamiliar children, the grasshopper boy felt perfectly secure inside of this deep green vault.  Rather like Green Mansions!  The seduction and the romance of Mother nature!  Without any timidity the boy explored every twig and leaf, bud, flower, and seed pod.  Stems and roots also intrigued him - the interlocking geometries of this tiny world.  He luxuriated on nests made of soft grass and small branches.

Everything was naturally happening all at once inside of the boy as well as outside of him.  Suddenly he looked above and saw the huge avocado tree's leaves vibrating in a cool breeze.  He ran fifty feet out of the shade and stood near the giant bamboo clump.  He then looked skyward into a brown-bottomed broken cumulus.  Cracks of blue let no rain fall.  A bold bird squawked at him from the Melaleuca shrub near the tall cement pillar that had the words "Las Rosas" carved near its top.  His Mother and his brother were inside the house.  For the time being, the grasshopper boy was content by himself in the mighty world, and because he was so intent on his special interest, he felt no negativity at all.  Although the night before the city of Bremen was bombed again and again, the boy was as happy as could be. (In the 1939-45 period the RAF dropped 12,831 long tons of bombs on Bremen.) 

 ©Copyright 2015 by John L. Waters.  All Rights Reserved. 


About John L. Waters

I worked as a professional free-lance lyricist in Hollywood from 1969 until 1977.  It was there I met the two composers with whom I wrote eight songs which were published. I became ill with an acute respiratory disorder. I left the Los Angeles area in 1977 and worked out my self-healing method.

Since January 2000 I've been attending Humboldt State University in the over-sixty program. I've been doing independent research.  I have a large number of letters, articles, poems, graphic designs, musical pieces, and songs.

To obtain more information, go to: 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.