Mr. Grasshopper goes to Shatin. A true story.

The weather was very hot and humid today. Most uncomfortable. We took a tactical decision to eat out rather than Mrs. Ha confront the drudgery of the kitchen. I am not much of a chef myself but I do supervise rather well. Cereal and milk I can do. Toast, at a push. But I digress.

After much deliberation we decided that we would drive 20 minutes up the road to Shatin, more famous for its racecourse than its culinary delights. It has the advantage of being a reasonably easy drive and incurs no toll fees. Not very green of course but it was a treat for Mrs. Ha.

As we exited the garage the wife superior noticed a grasshopper on the windscreen. Shall we get rid of it? she asked. Not to worry, said I, it will fly off in a moment. And with that we lost sight of it. However as we were driving along Route 2 I noticed a smiling little face in the corner of my windscreen. The gropper had clearly decided to come along for the ride. Possibly he had been reading The Hitchgropper’s Guide to Highways of Hong Kong. We drove into the carpark in Shatin and blow me, the gropper was still there. What a treat I thought. Mr. Gropper has made it all the way to Shatin. This will be a fine story for the grandchildren. The mini-groppers will never believe granddad made it so far. Assuming of course he makes it back again.

Less than 90 minutes later we piled back into the car and there was no sign of the gropper. Alas, he has probably been separated from his family and I regret I did not file a missing gropper report and have the CP searched for our orthopterous friend.

But then 5 minutes from home the gropper appeared again, this time on the inside of the windscreen. Now Mrs. Ha is happy to observe the wonders of nature from afar or through the lens of our TV. However the threat of an adventurous grasshopper hurling itself in her direction caused her a small(ish) bout of anxiety. GET RID OF IT she urged, as I drove along Sai Sha Road. It then threatened to go into the ventilation system and there were real concerns that on the following day, when Mrs. Ha would be driving the car herself and I would be at home, the gropper would emerge to wreak its diabolic revenge on her for incarcerating it overnight.

As I pulled in to the lay-by to sort out the conflict the gropper launched itself off the dashboard and on to the floor and under my car seat. As we were very close to home I decided that it would be better to do the search and rescue mission in the garage. And so we arrived home and two thoughts went through my mind. Would I be able to find the gropper and what to do with it if I did? I could simply release it back to its family or I could sacrifice it on the altar of raw nature and see if the nesting swallows fancied a free lunch of their own. I jest of course. I would never do such a thing. Please do not write to the SPCG.

Alls well that ends well as someone famously said. I did find the grasshopper. It was on my right sock. How touching. A slight flick of the hand and Mr. G flew off to his family with, no doubt, wondrous tales of derring do in Shatin. I doubt if we three shall meet again, whatever the weather conditions but I have to say grasshoppers have gone up in my estimation. I never knew they were so intrepid.

Perhaps J K Rowling’s new adult novel will be about Harry Gropper and if it is, I shall sue for plagiarism. Wasn’t that a wizard tale?

The End.

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