The human baby had gone back to the house, leaving one of his dinky cars behind. It was my only chance and I took it. Grasshoppers have a reputation for being good-for-nothing insects, but I am never lazy when it comes to stealing a ride.
I was going to take my usual route home, avoiding the waterfall where humans shed their outer layers, to the denser parts of the grass where they rarely ventured.
It was getting dark and I struggled to take the car in a straight line, narrowly missing some pebbles. It was just after I manoeuvred the car around a discarded human matchbox that a puny worker ant blocked my path.
“Get out of the way!” I said.
“Please, Sir Grasshopper …”
“Shut up and move.”
“… I had accompanied my queen on a royal walk but she’s pregnant and in pain and about to give birth.”
“Please give us a ride back to the ant colony.”
“Eeeew! And spoil my shiny car with millions of slimy ant eggs.”
“Please hurry. You’ll be rewarded with the finest honeydew our aphids can produce.”Dear reader, if you’ve heard the ancient fable of how the hardworking ant left my poor ancestor to die of hunger in winter, you’ll understand why I wasn’t too keen to let these hitchhikers ruin my car. But there was this teeny, tiny vial on the dashboard that emitted such a heavenly fragrance that my anger melted. I was in a good mood and beckoned the ant over. I even helped him carry his visibly pregnant queen to the back seat.
“How far apart are the contractions,” I asked her, trying to lighten the tension.
“Ooooh!” she screamed, and I turned my attention to the road. It wasn’t easy. The way to the ant colony was unfamiliar territory and the worker ant wasn’t very good at giving directions. The car headlights didn’t seem to work and our path was blocked by twigs, seeds and one giant puddle. The last was probably the handiwork of a sparrow with diarrhoea.
Just when I was about to give up hope, along came my next-door neighbour - the firefly.
“Glowy! Need your help, buddy.”
“Can you light our way to the ant colony? Mother-to-be in back seat”.
“Aaaoooooo!” said the queen.
“Here you go,” said Glowy and switched on his tail-light.
“Much better,” I said as the road lit up and the car sprang forward.Glowy was perched on my sunroof and staring at the royal passenger.
“How are you doing back there, Your Highness,” I asked.
“Eeeeaaaaooooooo!” she replied.
“Grassy, this is a really cool ride,” said Glowy, ignoring the queen and admiring my car.
“Greased lightning,” he said. I smiled at the compliment, rubbing my antennae with undisguised glee.
“And what’s that wonderful perfume?” Glowy asked.
“Aaaaoooo! Is that Chanel No. 5?” asked the queen. “I want it for my chamber.”
“Nah! Just Ambi Pur for the car,” I replied.
“Oooooaaa! Can you … Aaaooo! bring me some … Aaaaaaaa! next time you are near my kingdom.”
“Certainly, Your Highness.”We were making good progress and I could see the mound of the ant colony in the distance when Rocky the cockroach joined us on our road trip. He jumped in through the open windows. The queen squealed in terror as the cockroach squeezed into the back seat.
“Move your butt, missus!” said Rocky. I didn’t intervene; he’d been a bully even in school. The worker ant sensed this and kept quiet.
“Aaaaoo!” said the queen.
“Sorry about this, queenie,” said Rocky.
“Oooaaa! But you shouldn’t push,” she said.
“Not that,” said Rocky, as he let one rip. “This.”The car lurched as its occupants screamed in unison and moved towards the vial of Ambi Pur to escape Rocky’s fart. But the stink dissipated in a matter of seconds and the cockroach was disappointed.
“What magic is this?” he shouted. “That was one of my best efforts.” “It’s a fragrance that can repel the stinkiest of farts,” I replied, smiling again.It was the first time I’d beaten him at anything. Rocky didn’t reply and sulked in the corner.
We reached the ant colony without further ado. As her servants carried the queen away, she beamed and gestured with her antennae.
“Thank you, Sir,” she said.
“Sorry for the rough ride, Your Highness,” I said.
“Are you kidding me? It was wonderful.”
“You are too kind.”
“Aaaaah! Can you get me … Ooooooaaaah! more of that perfume.”
“Yes, Your Majesty, there’s plenty more where that came from.”
“Aaaaah! I’m going to name my first-born after you.”As the queen disappeared within the portals of her kingdom, the worker ant arrived with two buckets of fresh honeydew. I glanced at the car but Rocky had slunk away. Glowy and the ant helped me load the nectar into the back seat. I took a sip and it was heavenly.
“This is the life,” I told Glowy as we got in to drive home.
“It sure is wonderful,” he replied and switched on his tail-light.
It had turned out to be the perfect road trip.
(This post is an entry for the Ambi Pur contest on Indiblogger)
(Image courtesy of SweetCrisis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)