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Grasshoppers Do They Really Chew Tobacco?
Grasshoppers and Other Creatures of Nature
I am so happy that I grew up in the country and there could never have been a better place for little boys to experience the joys of discovering grasshoppers, catching fireflies June bugs, salamanders, frogs and lizards than right here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. On those hot days of summer we found plenty in Nature to satisfy our boyish curiosity. I often wondered when I heard adults tell us the stuff grasshoppers spit was tobacco juice.The question that came immediately to mind was where did they find the tobacco? There were no tobacco fields near where we lived but we were always amazed when we caught a big grasshopper and saw the juice that came from his mouth.
The juice was brown and definitely resembled that of the tobacco juice I saw my grandpa spit when he chewed his Brown and Williamson plug. Of course later when we were in school thanks to science class and the study of bugs and insects we learned the juices coming from the grasshopper's mouth were digestive juices and were a part of their defensive mechanism. Some of the fishermen in the area would use grasshoppers for bait so we were always on the lookout for grasshoppers we might put in a Maxwell House coffee can to peddle. Catching those grasshoppers was another story, they are quick and could soon be gone out of our sight with one big jump into the brier patch.
We also caught crickets and they could be found hiding under the stones in the fields my grandpa farmed. These also were used as fish bait and pan fish such as Bream will knock a juicy cricket right out of the water.
We were the Huck Finn's and Tom Sawyers of the mill village catching June bugs and tying a string to one of their legs and watching them fly out of sight. Around the barn we always saw lizards and salamanders. We were told not to mess with those because they were poisonous, especially the one we knew as the blue tail scorpion. Later I learned none of these were actually poisonous but they can give you a nasty bite. Most are so timid and scampered away into a crack or crevice alluding any of our intentions.