On Fireflies

Fifteen years ago, I wrote and published a book of stories about life, as seen through the eyes of a Siamese cat. It was called Simon Says: Views from a Higher Perspective. For what it’s worth, it is still available as an eBook, though the printed copies are long gone. It was received so well that I started writing a second volume, but life intervened and there you are. One of those extra stories came to mind for me this week. “M,” by the way, is Simon’s human.

I was lying on a patio chair late one afternoon. It was starting to get dark – M had turned on the lights inside – and I was contemplating dinner when I saw something light up over in a corner of the yard. It disappeared almost as quickly as it had come.
Jumping down from the chair, I crouched low, looking for it again. I stayed down for a moment, but it didn’t reappear. Just as I started for the back door (why waste a movement?) I saw it again.
Over the next few moments, the scene repeated itself, except that this apparition kept appearing in different parts of the yard. I would creep in one direction, only to find that the light source had moved.
And then it happened right in front of my face. In a lightning-fast move, I batted it out of the air and onto the ground. I touched it with my paw, and squinted at it in the dusk, waiting for it to light up again. It didn’t.
About that time, M opened the door to the yard and stepped out. I heard her say to someone inside, “Oh, look – there’s a firefly,” and I glanced where she was pointing. There was another one of these things near the fence.
I looked at her and back toward the fence. Then I looked down at the object at my feet. I sniffed it and jabbed at it a little. It wasn’t lighting up. It wasn’t flying, either.
Confused and disappointed with my catch, I turned and walked toward M and the door, leaving it where it lay.
Be careful what you chase. I caught a firefly once and it turned out to be a bug.

Vally

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