Monday, July 2, 2012

The Great Firefly Fiasco

Summer nights on the farm wove a magic all their own. The yard light was set between the house and the barn, yet even with it's brightness, only the circle beneath the tall pole was well lit. And while it was true that one side of the big old farm house was visible and the whole front of the barn, there remained a sort of soft, velvety darkness that encompassed everything else.

There came a warm evening when my family and my dad's uncle and his family had gathered for supper, eating outside where the air was cool and the breeze a welcome change from the stifling closeness inside the house. And while the adults sat around after supper talking about things that were more than boring, we six young kids (we three sisters plus our three cousins) hatched a plan to make our own entertainment.

The farm was big, there were lots of trees around the house and with the yard light so pale, what better game to play than hide and seek? Unfortunately, we soon discovered that only our two boy cousins had the bravery to seek out truly dark spots for hiding and because we girls had no intention of venturing too far from the light, our hiding places were easily discovered. That's when we girls put our heads together and hatched a plan.

Actually, as I remember, it was me who came up with the idea of asking the adults for flashlights. The grown-ups paid us scant attention, though they did inform us that no flashlights were available for playtime. That's when I got the idea to make our own lights. My plan was to catch a whole bunch of the fireflies that swirled around the yard, hundreds of them sort of turning the dark into what looked like a starry sky. I claimed that if we put them in a jar, they would become our personal flashlight and and we girls would be able to find the boys' hiding places.

But it was easier said than done. Truthfully, all the fireflies I managed to catch got smooshed in the process, so we enlisted the two boy cousins to help us catch them. Why is it that guys can catch bugs without damaging their frail bodies? Tis still a puzzle to me. In the end, we had about a dozen or so fireflies in our jar. I gave the jar a shake, expecting the bugs to begin flying, their tail lights illuminating our surroundings. Stupid bugs just sat there. I shook the jar again. Nothing happened. The fireflies were useless. In the end, I removed the lid and let the bugs escape. Wouldn't you just know it: they swooshed off with their tail lights glowing. Got to be the dumbest insects God ever created.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

1 comment:

  1. That's too funny! I can just see you and your sisters trying to catch fireflies. I grew up in the desert where there were no fireflies, but I remember going to my grandparents home in southern Texas and seeing the magic of fireflies in the air.