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A Fairy Tale
2003-06-13 - 7:29 a.m.

When I was 3 I lived in Abilene, Kansas. I'm not sure how you spell that but hey, I was 3. My most vivid memories of that time, take place in the summer. It was warm and perhaps a little humid. I remember catching little frogs that seemed to be everywhere and apparantly slow since I was able to catch them. There was this one time my sister, Brandi who was a year older than I, had a little bucket she was putting her frogs in. She didn't know what kind of grip she had, I guess. When she proudly strutted up to mom to show her treasure my mom made a funny yelping noise. She screamed "get that away from me!" I wondered what the big deal was, they were just frogs. I looked in the bucket and saw a bunch of frogs, belly up. Some had gut-like stuff coming out of one end or the other. I said to Brandi, "I think you squeezed too hard."

I remember going to my grandmas house and playing around in the back near the railroad tracks. The sound of crickets was music to me. The CREE-CREE-CREE was a melody. And the best thing? The fireflies. Or lightning bugs as we used to call them. They seemed to be everywhere, dancing about through the air, their little hineys shining. We would spend hours chasing them, catching them, and letting them go after we examined them. Sometimes, we would rub their little butts on our arms to make them glow. We'd put as many as we could in a glass jar with holes cut in the lid. We thought if we caught enough we could have a light bright enough to use as a lantern. It was summer. We were children and it was magic.

I hadn't thought about that in years. I haven't seen lightning bugs since I lived in Kansas. Until last night. Glen and I were walking the dog down the familiar trail for her last pee of the night. It was fairly dark but I am used to it now. There I was, trotting along when all of a sudden I saw a flicker of light in front of me. Was that what I thought it was?? Then I saw another and another and I squealed, "LooooK!! Lightning Bugs!!!!See them??!!? I haven't seen them in years!" I was jumping around and laughing. Pointed to each one so Glen wouldn't miss it. "There's one! There's one! OOh that's a BIG one! Didja see it?!?" I hadn't noticed the Austrian couple coming up the trail till they were nearly right in front of us. They said, "Gruss Got" and smiled as they walked by. I think they were a little amused at my behavior.

"Emily would love to see this," Glen said.

"Ooh ooh I have an idea. We can tell her they are woodland fairies and they light up so they can see when they are flying!!I'll go get her."

So I went and gathered all 3 kids and took them up to the woods. I whispered to Kelly and Dylan that we were going to see the 'fairies' and to go along with the excitement. They thought it was funny. They'd never seen lightning bugs before except in "A Bugs Life"

"Hey turn your butt off!"

When we got there I told Emily to look for the little lights because those are fairies. She said, "Like Tinkerbell?"


"Why do they have lights on? Is it so they can see?"


"Oh look mom! There's one!"

"yeah, neat!"

Then I heard a smack. Smack!

"Dylan, what are you doing???"

"I'm gonna catch one!"

"You can't catch the fairies."

"I almost did!" Smack, smack.

"If you do it like that you'll just squish them."

Emily looked in horror. Glen gave Dylan a stern look.

"Don't worry he's not gonna squish the fairies." Then I told Dylan wait till another time when Emi wasn't around. I was dying to catch a couple myself. I wanted to put buttjuice on my cheeks to show the kids how they glow. It's summer. We're kids. And it's magic.

On the way home, Kelly was holding my hand as we talked. She's almost as tall as me. I pointed to a brick gutter that went along side down the hill. I told her about how when it was raining a couple of months ago, the water came rushing down the bricks. One particularly wet night, I was walking the dog. It was warm for the spring so I was barefoot. I looked at the rushing water and decided to walk in it. I love the smell of the earth when it rains. Especially is this area that is very wooded. It's like new life. Fresh. Well I walked down that cobblestone gutter and the cold water covered my feet and swirled around. I enjoyed it the same as I would have if I were 8 or 10 years old. Kelly looked at me and said, "Mom, you are so weird. But I would've done the same thing."

"Exactly. See, Kelly, you should try to enjoy and take pleasure in all the simple things in life. The simple little things that God put all over for you to enjoy. If you only take pleasure in the bigger things you won't find happiness near as often. But if you take pleasure in the simple things, you will find it everywhere, all around you and you'll be much more fullfilled." And she thought about that the rest of the way home as we swung are hands back and forth.

See? Every now and then I get all Philisophical and shtuff. But I hope I am passing along something that my kids can use. I hope that Emily will remember the fairies she saw one summer when she was a kid and it was magic.

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