The Dragon­fly Story

The Borneo Post - Good English - - Short Story Section -

Then, one day, one lit­tle wa­ter bee­tle felt an ir­re­sistible urge to climb up that stem. How­ever, he was de­ter­mined that he would not leave for­ever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top.

When he reached the top and climbed out of the wa­ter onto the sur­face of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he de­cided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beau­ti­ful blue-tailed dragon­fly with broad wings and a slen­der body de­signed for fly­ing.

So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far su­pe­rior way of life to what he had never known ex­isted.

Then he re­mem­bered his bee­tle friends and how they were think­ing by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and ex­plain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been be­fore. His life had been ful­filled rather than ended.

But, his new body would not go down into the wa­ter. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he un­der­stood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew.

So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joy­ous new life !

but to us that mat­ters no more than the types of clothes we wear. The soles of our shoes have walked the same ground, so we al­ways play to­gether as one.

I hurry to catch up with my cousins and we set off, a lit­tle wagon rum­bling be­hind us. Drift­wood, bark, pine cones, wood chips, even a long, slen­der black leg from a pi­ano with miss­ing keys. We bring it all back to Un­cle Bren­dan, and we watch him whit­tle away on the sticks as we sa­vor the cap­ti­vat­ing sun­set. Any north­ern sun­set can be beau­ti­ful, but a North Carolina sun­set is re­ally some­thing spe­cial. The fad­ing sun­light leaks through the trees like wa­ter through a strainer.

Un­cle Bren­dan adds the shav­ings to the moun­tain of wood, which erupts into flames. We gather in a cir­cle around the fire, shoul­der to shoul­der, sit­ting on logs, chuck­ling with each other in the fire­light. There are grand­par­ents, par­ents, aunts and un­cles, broth­ers and sis­ters, cousins and more cousins.

Ev­ery­body. Sparks dance in the air, like lit­tle lanterns held by in­vis­i­ble hands as we be­gin toast­ing the marsh­mal­lows and pop­corn. The smoke ris­ing up through the curls of flame gives off a won­drous scent. It smells of Un­cle Bren­dan’s pine trees and Aunt Kathy’s cook­ies. It smells of sticky hands and old run­down barns. It smells of al­most-burnt marsh­mal­lows and pop­corn. It smells of home. Home sweet home.

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