The Grasshopper

The Grasshopper

There are two g’s (g and ğ) in the Turkish alphabet. Each one is softer than the other. One is at the beginning of August (Ağustos) and the other is at the beginning of grasshopper. A happiness which is g all over…

G is the heart of letters, the merry-go-round of the alphabet, and the sky of the colors. Which colors? All letters have colors and their roof is blue just as ours is. Let’s call it the sky of letters to steal the heart of the sky. The sky has a heart, well, of course, if there is a heart of letters, there is a heart of the sky!

G is the sky of the letters. The summer sky is above the grasshopper. Such an adventure, such a happiness… Sets off on a journey and it happens to be in summer. Therefore, the summers there must have been beautiful then. Human, bug, bird must have been just staring in awe at the sight of the summer. Our brother ant must have been known as the most hardworking fellow. None must have had any doubts on that. How could they? He had always been ‘the hero of hard labor’ in all seasons, not only in summers. People could never forget this story, although they could forget about everything including fairy tales, songs, poems, riddles! However, sometimes it is better and much more beneficial to forget than not to forget!

I think our soft g (ğ) with a hat is not liked as much as the other letters of our alphabet are. It is just like abolishing the use of circumflexes in some old words, making the whole sentence lose its meaning or gain a whole new ridiculous meaning.

The grasshopper of the animals alphabet is as unfortunate as its neighbour soft g! One of them is not used much because it is not liked and the other always brings negative examples to mind or it is introduced through negative examples. When I am signing books for students, I have to ask how they spell their names, with a soft g or not? Most of them without… As if you could imagine a summer without the grasshopper, or our alphabet without the soft g, or the letters without their circumflexes.

Despite the recent changes I see in some of the new books, poems, and fairy tales… Now, the manner of the ant is being criticized as much as the grasshopper’s behaviour is, well, maybe even more… At least the ant’s action is disapproved. I also disapprove the ant’s approach to the grasshopper, although I admire the ant’s hard work, I find his manner disturbing, in other words, I do not think that attitude suits the ant.

Working is definitely a beautiful thing of course. By working, one can improve his/her talents, if there is any. If there is not any, the person can only reach the level of being a skilled worker. Working also has its benefits such as making the person liked or praised: “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” One works for himself/herself but most of the time for social necessities. In almost every society, those who did not work although they could were blamed. So, it is a matter of peer pressure.

But working is blessed only as something done with manual labor and brain power. You take pains with it, sweat, make a great effort, beat your brain out! Beautiful. There are also other works done through performing these same actions: making music, dancing, writing, playing games… In the name of art or entertainment, some people work like that; they produce with hand, labor, sweat, eye, brain and arm power.

Well, I have almost turned this into a discourse, so I could defend circumflexes, soft g, and the grasshopper in fairy tales. What I’d like to say is this, wouldn’t it have been wiser of the ant if he had just shown some tenderness and shared his food with the grasshopper? It would have. He could have said: “Thank you! You were there to entertain us and the world. May God bless you and your music!” instead of saying: “Since you could sing all summer / you may dance all winter,” and teaching him a cheap rhyming lesson dogmatically. I guess the fable would have been called “The wise ant and the grasshopper” then and this title would have suited it perfectly, you see brother ant!