i) The grasshopper tells tall tales of tall reeds


The grasshopper tells tall tales of tall reeds. His home is far afield, under a bramble, by a stream. He lives with his wife and three children, all grasshoppers themselves.

“Normally we’s afraid of folks like y’all,” he says, gesturing to Fassn, with his gauzy wings. “Birds and the like’s wont to eat grasshoppers like us, stature or no.”

Fassn says, “I’m not a bird.”

“No, I suppose not,” the grasshopper says.

“I’m a devoted servant and appendage of Old Ajralan.”

“Who’s that now?”

Fassn looks to his companions, exasperated.

“A god Fassn believes in,” Shyan says.

“Spirit man,” Abia adds.

The grasshopper blinks his compound eyes. Fassn scoffs.

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