The kids are obsessed with money.  They bicker over coins they find around the house, bribe each other with loose change and spend lots and lots of time wishing, pining and planning for cash.

It is disturbing.

Anyway, Max had quite a monopoly on the gate at the lake this year and was rolling in the dough for a while.  But he grows impatient to spend and so the hard earned money did not last long. Therefore, when Fr. Tyler asked me if it was okay if he hired the boys to catch grasshoppers for fishing bait, I actually laughed.  Get them out of the house, rid the yard of pests  and get them to stop pestering me for moolah? Where can I sign up?

So Fr. struck a deal – 10 cents a hopper – a cage was procured and all at once the boys were gainfully employed.  Fr. helped them find the first 7 or 8 the first evening and then we rounded up some nice fat crickets in the basement.  The chorus we had!

The real work came a few days later when we set out to fill their quota of 50 jumpers.  Catching them should have been easy.  Well, easy that is if any of us liked catching grasshoppers.  Really, just thinking about it now makes me shudder. Anyway, our “weed beds” (you know, as opposed to ‘flower beds’ because they are filled with weeds. . .) were filled with milk weed which the grasshoppers really seem to find tasty.  So we started there and got to 32.

That’s when things got tricky.  We put the middle two to bed and headed to the fairground where Ellie learned to be a grasshopper rustler and Max learned my patented Grasshopper hop (it involves covering your head, tucking your knees and yelling. It’s not pretty.).  At about #37, the cage got a little full and then tricky took on a whole new meaning.  Every time we tried to get one in, 2 would escape.  It was a tad frustrating.  And icky.

In the end though we had 4 crickets, 1 locust, 45 grasshoppers, Fr. had a good catch and Max was $5.00 richer.

And then we had to go shopping.

Thanks, Padre!