Ora Belle Smith
1893 - 1981
Tennessee Farmer's Wife

Gramp and the Grasshoppers, 1965

When William Jackson Smith was a small schoolboy in a one room schoolhouse in the country, one fine day his muchly admired little girl friend, trim and neat and lovely came to school with a shiny new dinner pail - the only one of its kind in that school. She placed it proudly on her desk and every eye viewed it with envy. Mischief-loving William could not keep his mind on his lessons, for watching that bright oddity. When his idol went up to recite her lesson he sneaked it out, after snapping his fingers to be ‘excused’.

He opened the pail, but the delicious contents did not interst him. Now the difference in this pail and all others he had seen was a second small pail or cup on top of the lid. This cup also had a lid and held dessert - cobbler - molasses and butter etc. This was just too irresistable and William Jackson too full of mischief. He could just picture the commotion in the school room. So he poured out the golden molasses with butter stirred in, all ready for the biscuits inside the lower part of the pail.

He busied himself through several class periods catching grasshoppers and imprisoning them into the sticky cup. When it was well filled he put the lid on the cup and sneaked the dinner pail back to its place on the little girl’s desk.

Such screams from all the students when she opened her dessert cup and out came a swarm of sweet and sticky grasshoppers flying all over the room - in the girls’ long hair and on the professor’s coat sleeve. The licks young William received from the teacher’s cane were not felt for his penchant for fun was satiated.

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