At night, a lightning bug should hang like a star above the bushes, or swoop like a meteor above the grass. Its brilliant yellow light should flash on and off like an eye blinking again and again.
However, that night, our lightning bug was not like that at all. It floated in the water at the pond's edge, and its light was nothing but a sad glimmer. Who knows what misfortune had put it there?
Kneeling in the darkness I dipped the firefly into my hands. When all the water had leaked through my fingers, like a piece of dead, waterlogged wood, the poor beetle lay on its back in the palm of my hand.
But then in the darkness a warm night breeze began stirring and streaming around us, helping the bug to dry out. Finally, hesitantly, the creature rolled onto its feet, turned off its dim glow completely, and pulled itself to the top of one of my fingers. As the minutes passed I felt the grasp of six tiny feet upon my finger slowly growing stronger.
Therefore, I was not surprised at all when from its belly finally there exploded a bright flash of light. It was a yellow light, brilliant as a daffodil in spring.
Then came a second, even stronger, flash. If Red Dog could have seen my face then, he would have seen me smiling.
Then in the darkness I heard the whir of tiny wings and suddenly a splendid yellow light streaked from my hand. Like a statue in the darkness I stood watching as our lightning bug's flashes became lost among the soft, yellow callings of ten thousand other lightning bugs.
"Red Dog," I whispered, "in tonight's darkness, carrying a beautiful yellow lantern, we have a tiny brother...