Category Archives: Children’s stories

The Firefly Fandango

 

The fireflies come out to play over the hills and far away, dancing and spinning as fast as they can, doing the fandango, the firefly fandango.

 

Day’s heat gives ground to cooler skies, firefly males give excited cries, steam snakes up in smoky mist, the prelude to a midnight kiss. The males dance and hop on the backs of water drops. Firefly males know quite well, how to set the mating spell. In flights and duels they do not rest, to show their ladies who are best.

 

Way above, stars do shine, with silver moon of grand design. Now the meadows are awash with light that stays, heralding a different kind than that of day.

 

A campfire glows upon the ground, its crackles and hisses the only sound. Sparks shoot  high into the night, to blend with firefly delight . Darting above the fireflies dance . . . a hundred, thousands or maybe more  . . . flashing on the rainy dance floor.

 

Fanciful females with wings too short, watch from leaves as males cavort.  Who will be the one they choose of the many males who pursue? The males blink their fiery fandango dance in the spirit of romance.  Each dance is unique, no one else has quite that beat.

 

Females dust off their opera glasses to better see, who is the one with whom they’ll  be. They sit below where they can see, while males fill the night air, saying “Choose me, choose Me!”

 

One blink, two blinks, three blinks, four, five blinks, six blinks, seven blinks more. The males fly in shimmering conga lines with patterns of many different kinds.

 

Hens and chicks see the lights, go inside to sleep for the rest of night.  Other birds don’t join the dance, they guard the flies who have their chance.

 

Raccoon eyes perk up with glee, now they have lights to see.

 

Gentle deer lift trusting eyes, to the flight of fireflies. The fireflies use their lights to say “Come out, Come out!  It’s time to play!”

 

Children rush with delight. Magic floats within their sight. All day long they wait for this, right before the bedtime kiss.  Scampering, darting here to there, they bend and swoop and sway with care. They dance with tiny blinks of light . . . a magical moment of summer delight.

 

They’ve made fly nests in clear glass jars, to make them homes of inside stars. As they lay their heads down to sleep, they release the flies to light dark deep.  They nestle into nighttime slumber by the blinks of summer wonder.

 

 

Firefly facts

 

There are more than 2,000 kinds of fireflies. Most fireflies use light to talk with each other although there are some that do not.

 

A fandango is a type of Spanish and Mexican dance where the females make flashing movements with their arms and males make rapid foot movements. Humans do the dance to attract mates, just like fireflies.

 

Way down in the warm tropic air the fireflies dance in synchronization. Yet they are shy and will only light in deep darkness, shunning areas people have lit with lights of their own. They are becoming increasingly endangered.  As more human lights light the skies, they may not survive because they can’t adapt to the ever-changing conditions.  As a result, “light pollution” and pesticides that kill off fireflies and their food are causing the species to die out.

 

Fireflies are rarely seen in Europe or Africa; they prefer to live in Asia and east of the Rocky Mountains in North America, areas that have greater humidity.

 

In Japan they are thought of as reflections of love and as the souls of their ancestors.

 

Fireflies also use their lights to define their personal territories or to let other fireflies know danger exists.

 

The ancient Chinese used to collect fireflies, just as children now do, to bring them in to light their homes.

 

They live in forests, marshes and meadows near moisture. Females lay their eggs on or just under the ground about 3-4 weeks after they mate, just after they come out of winter hibernation.

 

Fireflies are nocturnal; they only come out during at night.

 

Fireflies eat the larvae (young eggs) of other species for food.

 

 

References

 

“Fireflies: enigmatic, enchanting, endangered”,

www.firefly.org/facts-about-fireflies.html

 

“Firefly (Lightening Bug)” http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bug/firefly

 

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefly.html

 

 

 

Esmeralda’s Hair

Esmeralda always had trouble with her hair.  When she was two, her mother cut her hair for the first time.  It was so short her ears froze when she went outside.  It was so short it stuck straight up on her head.  It was so short people sometimes thought she was a boy.  Her mother tried to put bows in her hair with gel which looked very silly.  One day she walked up to her mother, put her hands on her hips and announced, “No more haircuts, never, never never”!

Her hair grew.  Soon it covered her ears.

A few weeks later Esmeralda was able to put bows in her hair without looking silly.

It reached her shoulders.  Esmeralda put barrettes in her hair, but they got lost, and she never removed them.  Her mother said, “You have to brush your hair and keep it neat if you want it long.”  Esmeralda just nodded and went back to playing.

As it grew, she liked to put her hair on top of her head, so Esmerelda pinned it up with chopsticks but never bothered to take them out.  They drooped and clacked as she moved.

Her hair grew so long her mother tried to braid it, but tangles got in the way.  Esmeralda never combed it, and it fell down her back in snarls and tangles.  Esmeralda’s teacher, Mrs. Cleanwick, spoke to the class about the importance of brushing their hair, pointing at the messy heap on top of Esmeralda’s head.

It grew so long it reached her waist.  Esmeralda liked to separate it in two and tie it into a bow at her neck.  One day Esmeralda and her friend had a fight.  They were so angry that they grabbed burdocks growing nearby and smashed them into each other’s hair.  Her friend took the burdocks out, Esmeralda didn’t.  Esmeralda’s mother just shook her head when she saw her.  The burdocks scratched her cheeks as she slept.

Soon she could sit on her hair.  She tried to brush her hair one day but the brush got stuck in the tangles, and she left just it there.

One night when she was sleeping, Teensy the mouse saw her hair dusting the floor and skittered up.  He made a home and each night brought back treasures he found during the day, jittering about his adventures in her ear as she dreamed.

When she was swinging at the playground, Esmeralda’s hair swept the ground, leaving the earth neat and her hair littered with twigs and clumps of dirt.

Her hair grew down to her knees.  One day Mama Bird flew by and decided her hair would be an excellent place to build a nest.  Pretty soon three chicks hatched.

Esmeralda sometimes liked having the birds but Mama Bird was always squawking, the chicks were always chirping and the worms Mama Bird brought back to her chicks that sometimes fell in her hair and squiggled down her neck.  Paying attention to school with all the noise was hard.

Jasper a little, brown chipmunk looking down from a tree thought her hair would make a wonderfully soft home to come to each day, jumped down and burrowed deep with his paws.

Esmeralda’s hair grew down on her toes.  She kept tripping as she walked.  Mama Bird squawked angrily at her because she scared the chicks. Jasper, the chipmunk, jittered at her to be careful.

One day her cat, Nubs, noticed the mouse, birds, and squirrel jumped on top of Esmeralda’s hair and stared at the smaller creatures.  It was a difficult load to carry.

The next door neighbor’s dog, Buster, saw Nubs in her hair and started jumping against Esmeralda. She had to run inside to hide.

Esmeralda went to school the next day to find her teacher, Mrs. Cleanwick had called Officer Brown from the Animal Control department.  Officer Brown gave a talk about the importance of not bringing animals to school unless the teacher was asked first.

The animals were making so much noise that Esmeralda had to sit in the school hall because the other kids in the class were so distracted.

When she and her friends climbed up a pine tree, Esmeralda’s hair got trapped in the branches leaving her hanging stuck in the air.  Sap from the tree clung to her hair. Little pine needles were everywhere, tickling and itching her.  She looked and felt like a fly trapped in a spider’s web.  It took a whole day and two of her best friend’s help to get her free.

In fits of frustration the animals skittered and chittered and slid down the tree, running off to find new homes.

That was it!  She ran home to her mother and cried “Cut my hair. PLEASE!!!”  Her mother started cutting . . . Out came a branch from a tree, twigs from the playground, the mouse’s treasures, the bird’s nest, the squirrels home, and clumps of dirt from the swings.  Next came the chopsticks, burdocks, barrettes and bows that had gotten lost, sap and pine needles from the tree she was stuck in, the brush that got stuck and hundreds and hundreds of snarls and tangles.

Esmeralda’s new haircut fell to her shoulders fell in soft waves.  Her mother brushed until it gleamed and put a bright bow in it.  She looked in the mirror and liked who she saw.  She promised herself she would always keep her hair neat and clean . . . And she did.