Leg-less

in

The grasshopper was longer than his thumb and just as thick.

It was a surprise, at least to him, to see this larger-than-normal insect on a railing besides the bench. Within this concrete jungle of a school - harsh interplay of architectural lines - this magnificent bug stood out like a sore thumb.

It had two compound eyes, reflecting liquid light. The colours on its body ranged from a muted soil yellow to the colour of autumn green. On it's wings, there were delicate lacy networks of black threads against pale green-yellow.

To his mortification, the poor thing did not have a left hind leg. It dragged its large, unwieldy body across the metallic railing.

It wouldn't survive, not like this. It shouldn't be like this. It should be flying, hopping, dancing. Not...just not like this.

He decided to keep this grasshopper alive by keeping it company. This way, he would be able to chase away the nearby flock of bickering mynahs. At least, it wouldn't end up as bird food. He smiled a bitter smile but it was, nevertheless, a smile.

Within seconds, however, he realised the fallacy in his rationale. For how long - indeed, for how long - can he shelter this grasshopper from the gaping mouths of the nearby mynahs? He has his life to lead, a life divorced from this little critter's life. For a moment in time and space, their destinies intertwined. But... this intersection, it just wouldn't last.

He felt like crying from frustration. Powerless, it seemed, to even affect a incremental change.

From his earpiece, as though by divine intervention, the radio broadcaster began a little soliloquy on the meaning of life.

"Sometimes, you just have to trust in a higher being. And that faith will have to carry you along."

Touched by the irony of the moment, he keyed the message into his phone and saved it as a draft. He smiled again and this time, the smile was no longer that brittle. Then, he turned to face the railing and realised that the handicapped grasshopper was no longer balanced on the silver railing.

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