A grasshopper hitched a ride today

Half way home, I notice a grasshopper on the hood of my car. I’m going about 40 m.p.h., so I’m understandably surprised. He’s holding steady, bracing himself against the oncoming air, perfectly still aside from his antennae, which are curved to a 45 degree angle.

When I stop, he begins to move. He creeps forward, cautiously, as if he knows that, eventually, the red light will end and he’ll be forced to push back on his six legs and hold tight for a few more blocks.

After a few stops, he makes his way to the side of the car. He’s out of sight, but if I sit up a little straighter I can see him. He moves again, and I sit up even straighter. Now all I can see is his antennae. Stopped: straight up. Driving: 45 degrees.

He’s out of my sight, and I feel for him. What if he fell off? Will he be crushed? Will he know where he is? Should I drive slower? Does he have a home? I honestly kind of miss the guy, as if we made some kind of weird bond over the past mile and a half.

I pull into the driveway and he’s back. He starts scrambling. He moves faster than I’d imagined. He crawls across the hood, perching on the top, regarding the wipers with what I can only assume is fear and disdain. How many fellow bugs have been pushed aside with wipers like these, I’ll never know.

As I drive into the garage, he jumps.

I find him on the trunk when I get out. I flick him off and into the driveway so he can find his way back home.

This was lovingly handwritten on September 16th, 2009