King of the Grasshoppers

King of the Grasshoppers

The Puca had only taken on the Grasshopper form to fit in more nearly with his environment.  This local region seemed to be overrun by the creatures.  Walking through the property was pushing through a green popcorn dust devil.  Regrettably, they had deemed him, ‘King of the Grasshoppers’ and expected him to be their protector and defender 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Even though time meant little to the faery, he found their requests tedious.  In addition, his sympathies really tended toward the gardener of the lot in which he had taken residence.  Sara was a gentle soul.  She tended her gardens with love and diligence only to have the ravenous blighters overeating her profits and digging around roots to lay more eggs.  Exactly how he had arrived here in the central high deserts of Arizona was a mystery to him as well – most likely some homesick Gael calling on him.  Lost, the monarch needed the right wind to carry him home.  The Grasshopper King longed for the wet green of Eire. He tired of the tiny hoppers – they couldn’t even dance a jig!  They leapt sure, but the strange joints and hooks on their legs were a great hindrance.  His mind ached, Inis Eagla, excellent isle – how do I return to ya?  The King thought on possibly taking another form, but which one?

This morning Sara had gone mad.  Green goo gushed out of their wee bodies, as she stomped, squished, and pruned in half, hundreds of the miscreants supposedly under the King’s care.  After that she tossed cupfuls of hopper nematode death food around the entire estate.  His Kingdom was in shambles.

Greatly relieved, the Grasshopper King vaulted over the toxic waste graveyard, and vacated his bondage.  Setting out on a journey, he came upon exactly the right place to stop – Patty’s Pub.  As the King reached the tavern, a stumbling stone drunk exited the doorway.  The barfly gazed at the King, pointed a finger and slurred, “You’re not really there.”

Grasshopper King slipped through the closing door.  Inside were several other plastered customers who assumed he was in costume for the Masquerade Ball.  King leaned against the bar and ordered a Stout.  The bartender slid one over, and approached, “Hey Domhnall,” said Kevin.  “I’ve heard a lot of sad tales tonight – what’s yours?”  King told the man he missed his home, and wasn’t sure how to get back.  And worse, he had, had enough of being in this grotesque form, but was stuck.  “Oh, I thought you was wearing a great Mardi Gras costume,” said the keep.  “I didn’t realize you were a faery.  Let me buy you one.  We have a nice strong drink named after you – a Grasshopper.”  King looked Kevin straight in the eyes and chirped, “My name’s Bob.”  Momentarily Kevin returned with a large green frothy drink.  “Here you go,” said Kevin.  “Thanks, said Bob.”  He downed the minty slurry, and a large tear dropped from his eye into the empty glass.  The Club Moss colored drink had deepened his longing.  The giant grasshopper rose from the stool and walked toward the door.  The customers gazed at him with distaste.  Just a short time earlier Bob had been a King.  “If I called myself Robert, maybe I’d get more respect,” he hissed.

Robert pried open the door.  Fresh air struck him.  A renewed power surged through his frame – the drink was magical.  The Puca transformed himself into a large black stallion with a chestnut mane.  He added wings for good measure.  “That’ll do, Robert.  That’ll do,” he stomped three times, eyes flashing, and took off for Eire.


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