Gateway to the Classics: Firelight Stories by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
 
Firelight Stories by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Gold Bugs

O NCE upon a time there were two green and glittering gold bugs, and one said to the other:—

"The day is warm and sunny, let us go out and play."

"We will," said the second gold bug, and they decided to play at dancing.

So the two green, glittering gold bugs went down to a brook near by, and there, shining and floating above the water, they saw two glorious dragon flies, one green, and one blue.

"We will dance with these dragon flies," said one gold bug. "I choose the blue one."

"You cannot have her," said the other gold bug, "I choose her."

"I will dance with the blue dragon fly," said the first gold bug.

"You shall not dance with the blue dragon fly," said the second gold bug.

So they quarreled until two other gold bugs came along, and asked the dragon flies to dance with them, so that was an end of the matter.

The two green and glittering gold bugs then said they would play at something else.

"We will play hide and seek," said the first gold bug.

"No, we will play tag," said the second gold bug.

"I will play nothing but hide and seek," said the first gold bug.

"And I will play nothing but tag," said the second gold bug.

"I am going to hide," said the first gold bug; so he went away and hid himself beneath a clover leaf, but, ah, there was no one to blind, and then go and look for him.

"I will run," said the second gold bug; so he ran, but, ah, there was no one to catch him. It was not fun to play that way, and there was an end of the matter.

The two green and glittering gold bugs then said they would play at something else, so they went to a tall bell flower to swing.

"I will sit inside, and you shall rock me," said the first gold bug.

"No, I will sit inside first, and you shall rock me," said the second gold bug.

So they quarreled as to which should swing first, and in their quarreling they tore a petal of the beautiful bell flower, so they could not swing at all, and there was an end of the matter.

"Tut, tut, what is the meaning of this?" asked an old gold bug who came crawling along just then. "Why do you two green and glittering young things quarrel this bright morning?"

"We cannot play, and we are very unhappy, grandfather," said the two gold bugs. "We do not wish to play the same games."

"Silly, silly," said the old gold bug, and as he crawled away, he turned his head about, and he said, "Take turns, take turns. Turn about is fair play."

Now it had never occurred to the two green and glittering gold bugs that to take turns is the best way to play, and they decided to try.

They went back to the brook, and there were the two beautiful dragon flies, again floating over the water. So the first gold bug danced with the green dragon fly, and the second gold bug danced with the blue dragon fly; and then they changed about until they could dance no longer.

After that they played tag, and the first gold bug chased the second gold bug until they were tired. Then the first gold bug hid himself, and the second gold bug tried to find him, which was very good fun indeed.

And last of all they found another bell flower, and they rocked each other all the afternoon, until it was time to go home.

So they had a very good day after all, did those green and glittering gold bugs, for they had learned that to take turns is the best way to play.


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