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THE LOCUSTS

    Once a plague of locusts decided to stay put.
    The land upon which they’d descended in clouds so thick as to cast an ashen pall far and wide would do quite nicely for now, offering an open invitation to have their endless demands endlessly supplied, to capitalize on their voracious cravings and grow fat with whatever might profit their enterprising plague. The locusts’ decision to stay put was one that seemed to say, “We’re the fittest species around, and there’s not a chance in hell we won’t survive. The rest of you might as well clear out while you can.”
    Many did clear out, fleeing like refugees in their own land. Some hoped the locusts would eventually grow weary of gorging themselves on whatever they could find and depart, but most were convinced it was a lost cause. The place was cursed, they lamented.
    “What nonsense,” was the invariable reply the locusts made to such complaints. “We’re just better at exploiting whatever resources might lie in our path. Besides, if we’re so bad for the place, then why are we this fat and happy, while you’re not?”
    Those who’d risked remaining were forced to admit that to all appearances the locusts were indeed living what might easily be called “the good life.” They wanted for nothing. Their every wish and whim was met, often before they were aware they even had it. They consumed and overconsumed as if there were no tomorrow, and any challenge to the instant gratification of their appetites was overwhelmed by the sheer force of their numbers and gulosity. They were, quite literally, everywhere and into everything. 
    Soon those who’d chosen to stay rather than flee began to wonder if perhaps the locusts were, as they maintained, destined for inevitable dominance wherever they turned up. Perhaps they really were meant to rule the earth. If so, then wouldn’t one’s own fortunes be improved by joining them? There must be plenty of places still out there just waiting for enterprising types to sweep down and batten upon whatever was to be had.
    And so the locusts were pressed with appeals to share the secrets of a successful plague. There were no secrets, they replied, other than letting the locust spirit rule your heart. But it did take time and tireless effort to actually turn yourself into one. Meanwhile, the best that might be done for those begging to share in the bounties of the plague before it passed them by was to proclaim them “honorary locusts.”
    “If you dedicate yourselves day and night,” these honorary locusts were assured, “your children’s children’s children may one day cover the globe.”