May 8th, 2000

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

Fire Flies

By Doug Sinclair

"Robbie has to go out." I opened the door and my dog made his way about a hundred feet to the north fence, put his head through the second rail and looked around. Not finding his playmate Sophia, he turned to look back at me. Standing there by the fence, I knew he was hoping she would come and play. He had a forlorn expression on his beautiful tan and blond face. Ears drooping, he waited a moment and then trotted down by the oak tree. As usual that brown nose was a fraction of an inch above the ground. He sniffed side-to-side, then around a tree, and stuck his head back through the fence next to Ron's house. "Do your dumpster, Rob," I said in a soft command. He looked up at me once, and then went back to sniffing. "Rob! NOW!" This was a new command. Just now he was busy, so he needed a little encouragement. Besides I didn't want to stay out all night.

With the sun just setting, there was still enough skylight to see without the flashlight. I carried it anyway. You don't know what you could step on in the dark. Rob was over by the next oak tree and still near the fence when I saw it. I couldn't believe my eyes. This was so unusual, I think. I hadn't seen a fire fly in a long time. It reminded me of when we were kids and there were dozens of the flies blinking around the front of the barn. Uncle Bill got us old jelly jars and poked holes in the cap using a hammer and nail. Aunt Esther and my mother supervised the activities. Sally and I must have run three miles that night, and many others, chasing after fireflies and catching them in our jelly jars. They were counted and then released.

Fireflies seem so special. They are small bugs that look like tiny 747s with their lights on coming in for a landing. If you could collect about six in a jar it would look like a lantern. It was fun running around the yard with jars filled with fireflies.

But, this solitary one flew from the fence to the big oak tree, then down to the small oak tree and over to the pump house. He rounded the eaves and then headed for the hedge next to the house. Wow, this was really neat. "Rob, look at the fly." Of course he didn't have a clue of what I was talking about. Imagine someone going down the street seeing me trying to point Rob's head up to where he could see this incredible firefly.

"Bird!" Robbie got in his three-legged stance, snapped to attention, poised he looked up and scanned the tree line. There along the hedge he saw the fly lighting it's way. Robbie flew like a rocket to the hedge, prancing as he went, trying to figure out what was flashing in the twilight. In an instant the fly was gone. Rob stopped and looked back at me wagging his tail. He saw it too. How wonderful nature is when you least expect it. Rob finished his duties and we walked back to the house to get a cookie. The experience lasted a couple of minutes but brought back so many glorious childhood memories.

"We're back. We saw a fire-fly."

"No kidding, I remember when we used to catch them in jelly jars," CJ replied.

We spent the rest of the evening telling stories of chasing and catching fireflies as kids - cool spring evenings with friends and family and the family pets. ~ Doug Sinclair


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