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The Wonderful Exploits Of Grasshopper
by [?]

A man, of small stature, found himself standing alone on a prairie. He thought to himself, “How came I here? Are there no beings on this earth but myself? I must travel and see. I must walk till I find the abodes of men.”

So soon as his mind was made up, he set out, he knew not whither, in search of habitations. He was a resolute little fellow, and no difficulties could turn him from his purpose: neither prairies, rivers, woods nor storms, had the effect to daunt his courage or turn him back. After traveling a long time, he came to a wood, in which he saw decayed stumps of trees, as if they had been cut in ancient times, but no other trace of men. Pursuing his journey, he found more recent marks of the same kind; after this, he came upon fresh traces of human beings; first their footsteps, and then the wood they had felled, lying in heaps. Pushing on, he emerged toward dusk from the forest, and beheld at a distance a large village of high lodges standing on rising ground.

“I am tired of this dog-trot,” he said to himself. “I will arrive there on a run.”

He started off with all his speed. On coming to the first lodge, without any especial exertion, he jumped over it, and found himself standing by the door on the other side. Those within saw something pass over the opening in the roof; they thought from the shadow it cast that it must have been some huge bird–and then they heard a thump upon the ground. “What is that?” they all said and several ran out to see.

They invited him in, and he found himself in company with an old chief and several men who were seated in the lodge. Meat was set before him; after which the old chief asked him whither he was going, and what was his name. He answered that he was in search of adventures, and that his name was “Grasshopper.”

They all opened their eyes upon the stranger with a broad stare.

“Grasshopper!” whispered one to another; and a general titter went round.

They invited him to stay with them, which he was inclined to do; for it was a pleasant village, but so small as to constantly embarrass Grasshopper. He was in perpetual trouble; whenever he shook hands with a stranger, to whom he might be introduced, such was the abundance of his strength, without meaning it, he wrung his arm off at the shoulder. Once or twice, in mere sport, he cuffed the boys, about the lodge, by the side of the head, and they flew out of sight as though they had been shot from a bow; nor could they ever be found again, though they were searched for in all the country round, far and wide. If Grasshopper proposed to himself a short stroll in the morning, he was at once miles out of town. When he entered a lodge, if he happened for a moment to forget himself, he walked straight through the leathern, or wooden, or earthen walls, as if he had been merely passing through a bush. At his meals he broke in pieces all the dishes, set them down as lightly as he would; and putting a leg out of bed when he rose, it was a common thing for him to push off the top of the lodge.

He wanted more elbow-room; and after a short stay, in which, by the accidentally letting go of his strength, he had nearly laid waste the whole place, and filled it with demolished lodges and broken pottery, and one-armed men, he made up his mind to go further, taking with him a young man who had formed a strong attachment for him, and who might serve him as his pipe-bearer; for Grasshopper was a huge smoker, and vast clouds followed him wherever he went; so that people could say, “Grasshopper is coming!” by the mighty smoke he raised.