Bob, the cricket
(the story of a newly evolved species)
Bob was born (hatched) about 2 years ago in a small village of crickets located in a small town in Southern California.  He was a wholly unremarkable child, with nothing to indicate that he was in reality an extremely evolved member of his species.  You see, even though Bob was born (hatched) of completely normal cricket parents, through some quirk of fate, genetics, or random mutation, Bob was the first cricket ever to be born sentient.

As Bob was growing up, he became aware of all of the normal cricket instincts, such as eating, hiding, and procreating, but he also became aware of himself as an individual, and some time before reaching maturity several weeks later, he developed a quite remarkable intelligence, as well as a fully developed set of very un-cricketlike feelings.  This made life for Bob rather difficult, since he was the *only* cricket to share these wonderful gifts.  He tried in vain to explain his feelings with his fellow crickets, who naturally didn't have the intellect to fathom his situation.

Bob remedied this situation by making the most of his unique situation.  For the most part, when he was around other crickets, he acted pretty much as one might expect a cricket to act.  He hopped around, chirping at the prescribed tempo based on the temperature, he waved simple antennae messages to his fellow crickets, and he wandered the area looking for food.  He even took a stab at the whole procreation thing, finding himself a nice female cricket to share his nights with.  Unfortunately for Bob, this is where the first of his troubles began...

You see, Bob made the mistake of living in a cricket community where, as you might expect, feelings towards your fellow crickets were nonexistent.  Bob's intelligence and curiosity compelled him at a very young age to begin to classify the world as he saw it, including his fellow crickets.  He immediately saw the need to give names to his friends, which he set about doing.  In a rather bizarre quirk of his evolution, however, his tiny cricket brain wasn't given much in the way of memory or creativity in these things, so ALL of his cricket friends were also called Bob (a fact that, while sometimes slightly confusing to Bob, went completely unnoticed by all the other Bobs, as they had no concept of what a name was, and they didn't understand the antennae waves that Bob used to call to them anyway).  But Bob was not discouraged by any of this, happy to have friends to call Bob in the first place.

As fate would have it, Bob was eventually quite smitten by one of the Bobs in his little community, and found himself head-over-heels in love with a young cricket lady (Bob).  At first Bob seemed indifferent to him, but after a while Bob remembered that Bob was completely unable to return his affections, and he was forced to be satisfied with her indifference.  Despite the seemingly difficult arrangement, they soon had a healthy clutch of new family members, aptly named Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, and Bob.

Being an intelligent creature, Bob was immediately mortified by the prospect of having to house and feed several dozen new family members.  Calling on all of his resources, Bob set about trying to find a good place to go to solve his new problem.  He hadn't quite decided whether 'solving' meant 'finding a new source of food and shelter' or 'a good place to hide' though.  But as luck would have it, he happened across a place that he decided might fit either description quite well.  Bob had the good fortune of living near a rather large (by cricket standards) building, and he hastened there to see what might be found there.

Bob knew that a rather large number of dangerous creatures tended to live near these large buildings, so it was with great care that he made his way across the huge expanse of grass that bordered the building.  He knew enough to avoid the nests of spiders that dotted the area (although he did venture near enough to see the spiders themselves, and set about naming each one to help him remember where the more dangerous of them lived...a task that was only slightly complicated by the fact that he named them all Bob).  He climbed some of the taller blades of grass to be sure to avoid any animals that might be ahead, and didn't stay atop the blades too long to avoid being eaten by birds.  He waited until well after nightfall to cross the wide expanse of smooth, white stone that ran as far as he could see in both directions past the front of the large building, and stayed well away from the obviously (to Bob) artificial lights that were placed near the building.  He even remembered not to call attention to himself by chirping at night, although it was difficult to curb that particular instinct.

Eventually, Bob made it to the side of the building.  Again, waiting until nightfall to make his move, he began an arduous climb up the side of the building.  He thought that, even though he was exposing himself to the birds by being up in the air, if he could find a place to hide before the next morning, he would be well above the reach of most of the creatures that might harm him by day.  And, as luck would have it, not long after he was past the halfway point of his climb towards the top of the structure, he stumbled upon a tiny opening in the wall, just big enough for him to wriggle through.

Once inside his newly discovered retreat, Bob was amazed at his luck!  He had discovered a HUGE area that was obviously (to him) completely sheltered from the outside world.  Quickly taking stock of the situation, Bob saw that as far as he could see, there were no obvious openings to the outside other than the one he had crawled through.  Knowing that if he were right, he might just have found a nearly perfect new home for him and Bob and their children (who must all be nearly full grown by now, Bob thought with a sigh).

Bob immediately set out exploring this new land.  He explored all along the wall where he came in, finding no new openings anywhere, and set off down another of the long walls.  Finding nothing of note there, and having seen no indication of any other creature that might be living in the area, Bob decided to shorten his search of the area by examining it all at once from a higher vantage point.  Although the light colored and obviously (to him) artificial walls were almost devoid of any features and completely smooth, his little cricket feet had no problems finding purchase.  He quickly climbed halfway up the wall, and stopped to look around the room for any indications of entries to the area from the outside.

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Thalen looks up from his computer.  It's been a long night of administering on the MUD, and he gets up from the computer to stretch his legs a bit.  Logging out, he picks up the phone and dials the number of his friend Kethry, the person who runs the MUD he has spent all evening on.  As he talks, he walks out to the living room, intending to go out to the balcony to see what the weather is like, when he spots a rather large cricket perched in the middle of the living room wall.

"Hold on a sec," he says.

*WHACK*

"Stupid cricket, trying to hide in the middle of a white wall.  Probably did the species a favor by getting rid of it."

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Seems not all highly evolved creatures are cut out for the job.
 


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