Short Story – Forest Stars 2 – Maretha Botha

Kate and Josh are spending the holidays with their grandparents at a time of the year when all sorts of wonderful things happen in the undergrowth – a time when the forest stars come out . . .Fireflies in the forestThe children rush into the house to tell their grandmother about their walk in the forest.  Grandma Margie turns the gas to number one, gives their stir fry a final stir and turns to them with a big smile.

‘So, what can you two tell me about the fireflies?  I’m sure it must have been a most entrancing sight!’Glowworms and children (2)‘Grandma, it was magic!  Everywhere we looked the glowworms and fireflies were meeting one another.  The forest had such a lovely soft glow,’ Kate explains while trying to catch her breath.  Before she has a chance to say more, Josh runs to his grandma and gives her a big hug. ‘I just had to bring you a small gift, Grandma Margie!  Here is a glowworm in a bottle. How can it glow like this?  I wish I was a scientist!’Glowworms close-up‘Thank you dear.  Let’s put off the lights and then we’ll be able to see just how incredibly bright the glowworm’s light really is,’ Grandma says.

The children gasp, because the glowworm’s light is even brighter than before.

‘That is why we should not have our garden LED lights on much before ten o’ clock at night.  Unless these little creatures see their partners’ lights, they will be misled and die before they have a chance to meet, lay eggs and continue their next life-cycle,’ Grandpa George says, sounding serious.  Yet, he has a smile on his face when he looks at Grandma Margie, giving her a wink.

‘Have you children ever heard, “The Glowworm’s Nursery Rhyme”?

‘No Grandpa, we haven’t.  Please say it, please!’

Grandma just smiled, shaking her head.

‘I wish I were a glowworm,

‘A glowworm’s never glum.

‘Because how can you be grumpy . . .

‘When the sun shines out your bum!’[i]  [ii]

The children shriek with laughter and hug their grandparents.  ‘You are the best!  We love you!’

‘Come, our stir fry is ready, but before we eat, let’s not forget to release our little lantern back in the garden.  Look over there.  I see more forest stars winking,’ Grandma says.

[i] The author is unknown

[ii] YouTube video produced by Kali Payne.

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    • Thanks so much for reading this short story, D.L. Seeing the fireflies at night is really an unbelievably magical experience – as good as being in the path of a butterfly migration. 🦋Enjoy your week. 🦋


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