We pointed in unison, arms fully extended as if they might stretch far enough. My brother beside me - blond like sunshine, blond as Barbie Dolls and Hulk Hogan - sweated anxiety.
Winter waves crashed, rushing up the seawall toward us on the steps. The tide came fast and hard, pushed inland by a storm far out to sea. It wallowed on the horizon, mumbling and threatening to chase us if we ran.
Several feet away on the seawall, in the path of the oncoming tide, sat a bright green grasshopper; a holdover of late summer, King of Fiddles and night music.
I can't see a grasshopper without thinking about those industrious ants who prepared for Winter while the grasshopper sang away without a care in the world.
The four of us - my mom and dad, my brother and I. Us four and no more - had come down to Rota beach to watch the storm roll in. Then we'd seen the grasshopper. Obviously a poor planner and stranded in a location soon to be the site of his violent demise.
My brother and I screatched and pointed. Tears pooled in our eyes as the hard pounding surf rapidly closed the distance. Seaspray dampened my face, my hair, clothes soaking up salt and the smell of ozone.
My dad leapt into action, making a mad dash for the insect, my mom urging him to hurry. He snatched it up, leaping back to us as a huge wave broke and rolled over the spot the grasshopper had been.
In his cupped hands the grasshopper was a piece of stained glass, vibrant in the blue gray world. We leaned closer to inspect our rescue, rain starting to patter our bent heads.
The grasshoper bit my dad and leapt, a curling lick of a hungry wave snatching it away.