As any one of my family and friends will tell you, I don’t cope well with insects. If it has more than four legs, I don’t want to know. Unfortunately for me, there are a fair few creatures that have more than four legs scuttling around Korea at this time of year.
I’ve already had to contend with several cockroaches, a monster of a stag beetle (don’t listen to what Nathan says, it really was 12 centimetres long), and that’s not even including what I’ve eaten.
This all brings me to the story of Mr. Grasshopper. Yesterday, one of my co-teachers came in to tell me that there was ‘a big, green bug’ in the computer room. There it was, lurking next to one of the speakers. I think it was a grasshopper, maybe a cricket, I’m not really sure what the difference is, but we’ll call it a grasshopper. Whatever it was it definitely had more than four legs.
I called some of the boys in to see it, and I won’t lie to you, I did spot an opportunity here to convince one of the kids to take their new friend outside meaning I wouldn’t have to go near the thing myself.
The boys weren’t the least bit fazed by it, and the poor thing was passed from one sticky little hand to another. In fact, one of them wanted to keep it for show and tell and another tried to put it in his mouth. What the obsession is with eating bugs here I will never know.
I ran to grab my camera from the teachers’ room but by the time I got back to the classroom the kids had all gone back to playing with their Lego. No sign of Mr. Grasshopper. Hmm.
Me: Where is the bug now?
Kid 1 (without looking up from his Lego): Trash can.
Me: What? Why is it in the trash can??
Kid 1: It’s dead.
Kid 2: Dead.
Kid 3: It’s killed.
Kid 4: Very dead.
I looked in the trash can (damn Americanisms) and sure enough, there he was, lying crumpled at the bottom of the bin. So that was the end of Mr. Grasshopper. A dignified burial among pencil sharpenings, sweet wrappers, and tteokbokki sauce. R.I.P. Mr. Grasshopper.