Truth is stranger than fiction. An ordinary scribbler has uncovered and translated the most extraordinary body of writing on the face of the earth.
Improbable though it may seem, this fantastic story before you - so like strange fiction or someone's mad dream - is true to the very last word. Often I lay all night in the dark listening to crickets, to as many chirps as there are stars in the sky. Time came that I was able to distinguish aural differences, to tell one cricket from another by the sound of his voice! I could find out the true meaning of those endless and apparently identical sounds! I could understand the message; I had broken the cricket code! This was a major scientific breakthrough.
But equally important, a literary bonanza. For I was privileged to hear a story unique in all the world. Jawser divulged to me all his fables, legends, histories, adventures, and love stories. I befriended a cricket. A communicating insect - eloquent, lofty, sublime! A poet! Shall I give him a name? Let's call him Jeff Jawser.
These then are The Cricketary Tales of Jeffrey Jawser, translated from the Olde Cricketese by me in Oakland, California in 1993.
Yes, I was reciting my verse. Just jumping in the meadow high on perfume of spring flowers when I bumped into a relative. He was a little locust and our talk was very short. But it changed my life beyond the power of poetry to express.
"We're leaving, we're flying, we're springing, we're winging...!" On and on he chattered. "Whoa... wait!" I had to use all six of my legs to hold him down and make him listen. "Where are you going?"
"On migration - seems like seventeen years since last time we did it. The locusts are going on migration, on migration..."
"But when?" I managed to get in.
"Tomorrow, as soon as the sun dries the dew from our wings."
That's all I learned, for he bounded away lickety-split like a rabbit. But of course I should have known. The whole countryside had been abuzz for weeks. Something big was going on. The air was electric with snap and intensity. Yes, here it is - the chance of a lifetime! I look very much like a locust. Why not join this migration? Think of the adventure.
And so it happened: through chance and destiny I flew off with billions of my locust cousins - I, an ordinary cricket.