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A bug feast

Meanwhile they served us dessert—a melon cut into slices. Probably Uzbek or even Turkmen. I take a slice and notice that the flesh is covered with black dots, some of them even moving around. So these are not seeds, as I thought at first, but insects. Some kind of bugs. However, they also need to live and eat. I brush the bugs off and bite on the melon not feeling the taste.

Suddenly I realize that there were giant beetles sitting on the dish: black, almost motionless—that is why I didn’t notice them at once—but alive. It’s clear that they are participating in the meal with us on equal terms and even have more rights to melons than we because they grew up with them on the same farm. The beetles probably believe that they are the masters, and the feast is arranged for them, they don’t understand the reason for us to be here. Perhaps, we are merely servants.

I thought, what if we were served on the table like these bugs? We would think that we are the eaters here, but the true masters of the feast can shake us off and devour us at any moment. I hasten to tell my joke, choking with laughter, to the girls in uniforms who are sitting opposite. They burst into laughter even before I tell the joke. Strange, in our time women did not serve in the army, but times are changing ...

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