Long ago grasshoppers were not as they are now. They were brightly coloured. In fact there were grasshoppers in just about every colour and pattern you could imagine.
But there was a problem. Grasshoppers kept getting eaten by birds. And one grasshopper decided to find a solution. He set off to visit the wisest insect in the bush, the praying mantis. It was a long and difficult journey but eventually he arrived, and explained to the praying mantis that all of his friends kept getting eaten by birds. After listening patiently the praying mantis rummaged in the bush and returned with a single green leaf, which he handed to the grasshopper and said, “Take this leaf with you, by the time you get home all of your problems will be solved.”
The grasshopper was stunned. He had traveled a long way to see the praying mantis and all he’d received was a leaf?! The grasshopper was angry. The praying mantis must be crazy, what a waste of time! Nevertheless the grasshopper held the leaf and began his angry march back home.
Suddenly he heard a sound coming from above. He looked up and saw a bird. The bird saw him too and began to swoop - terrified - at the very last second, just as the bird was about to reach him the grasshopper turned and held the green leaf up like a shield! To his astonishment the bird swooped right over the top of him, as if he’d become invisible.
Then the bird turned around. Once again it saw the grasshopper and began to swoop. Once again the grasshopper stood terrified watching the bird get closer and closer until at the last second just as the bird was about to reach him he turned and held up the leaf like a shield and the bird swooped right over the top.
With that the grasshopper hurried home. When he arrived the other grasshoppers questioned him, they wanted to know if the praying mantis had offered a solution to their problem. But the grasshopper didn’t respond. He went into the bush at once and began collecting green berries. As many as he could, and hee placed them in a large bowl. The other grasshoppers were stunned. They began whispering to one another that perhaps the grasshopper had gone mad. But the grasshopper paid their whispering no heed. He collected the berries and when the bowl was full he jumped into it and squished the berries until they became a soup. Then he swam around in the soup.
All the while the other grasshoppers were becoming increasingly confident that this grasshopper had indeed lost his mind. Eventually he emerged from the bowl covered head to toe in green berry soup - when suddenly there was sound from the sky! The grasshoppers looked up and saw a bird. The bird saw the grasshoppers and began swooping. Quickly they all searched for places to hide. They called to the grasshopper who was still covered in green berry soup. They called to him to hide. But he didn’t move. He stood perfectly still just where he was. The others watched in horror as the bird swooped closer and closer. They were sure this was the end for the mad grasshopper, who remained silent and still even though inside he felt afraid. And at the very last second the bird swooped right over the top of him, as if he was invisible.
The others were astonished by what they’d seen. One by one they emerged from their hiding spots. One by one they jumped into the green berry soup. Then they practiced staying very still. It wasn’t easy but they practiced diligently and eventually became as they are today.