First there was the pic ~ with mention of a story ~ Now you have the words.

It started with a thwapping on my left foot.

*Thwap*

Like a thick cloth being whipped heavily across my boot.

*Thwap*

“But, There’s no cloth in front of my foot…” I think.

*Thwap*

I’m imagining some impossible piece of canvas beating in the wind, occasionally swinging around to slap across my laces.

I look down. There’s a grasshopper IN my shoelaces, its whole body wedged under them against the tongue of my boot.

“I have GOT to take a picture of THAT.” I think. “It’s not going anywhere. I’ll do it when I pull over.”

*Thwap*

This time it’s the right foot.

*Thwap*
*Thwap*

*Thwap*

I lost count eventually. A hundred? A hundred-fifty?

*Thwap*

I never saw them. I just felt them. Thwapping against my feet. It became a sad running joke. Invisible grasshoppers jumping to their doom.

I thought that would be the worst of it. Them, the few hundred small flying things that converted themselves into little piles of winged meat on my visor, and the occasional large flying thing which bounced off or exploded into a large yellow stain across my eyes. I wondered why bug guts were always yellow, until I finally hit a mosquito on its way home from a meal. It left a small red splotch that looked remarkably like a Scottish Terrier. I had at least a hundred miles to ponder its shape before walking over to the gas station squeegie and attacking my helmeted head for the third time that day.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the worst of it. I killed a lot of things in South Dakota, but I feel especially bad about the long necked water-fowl that was sitting on the center-line. It seemed confused, as if it couldn’t decide if it should stay there, or attempt to leave. A the last moment it took flight, cutting directly across my path, but far enough ahead that all would have been fine, had it not decided to change its mind directly in front of my wheel, and attempt to turn around. A tenth of a second? A hundredth? Just enough time for my mind to fear that the impact, and following loss of traction as I rode up and over its body would cause me to drop the bike, not enough to prevent the Thumping impact followed, without noticeable delay, by a jolt to the shocks, and then nothing until eventually…

*Thwap*

image

I thought it was just dirt, but then I realized it was the remains of countless South Dakotan grasshoppers.

Posted via email from masukomi’s posterous