Forest Stars by Maretha Botha – Part 1
The summer breeze sings softly among the tall conifers in a small meadow. Grandpa George and his grandson, Josh are walking along a narrow path, admiring the grass sprouts tickling their legs. Josh feels a bit scared of the dark shadows everywhere, but his older sister, Kate, skips happily along the path, not worried about any uneven patches which might trip her.
‘Be careful, Kate! Please wait for us!’ Grandpa George warns. Suddenly, Kate stops, turns around and puts her finger on her lips. ‘Ssh . . . Look! There are fairies under that fern over there.’
‘Fairies? Let me see, let me see them too,’ Josh shouts. He and Grandpa George sit on their haunches to have a closer look at the eerie green glows in the soft moss on the forest floor.
‘Why is the grass on fire, Grandpa?
‘Those small lights belong to glowworms and the grass is not on fire. I’m glad to see them here. If you look closer, you might still be able to read that signboard over there.’ Grandpa flashes a small light against a brand-new signboard. ‘Yes, it says . . . No camping overnight.’
‘Even though these glowworms are small when we compare them to other creatures, they still need our care. If we keep very still, we’ll see their partners soon,’ Grandpa says. Both the children huddle close to their grandfather, watching the meadow with bated breath, while the forest creatures high up in the trees view the three humans with interest.
They whisper among themselves
They whisper among themselves. ‘The glowworms are here, but what if their partners don’t come? Do you remember what happened last year when the campers came with their insect zappers, bright lights and big tents?’
‘Yes, they squashed the glowworms, or took them home in bottles.’
Suddenly, Wisdom, the spotted eagle owl hoots, ‘Don’t think about it anymore. Our glowworms are safe this year. They’ll fare better this season.’
Safe at Last
‘But what if-’ one of the jittery monkeys wants to chatter a question, but he keeps quiet when a most splendid sight appears out of nowhere. Small darting insects light up the meadow while they fly around in circles, in and out and back and forth. The children laugh out loud, clapping their hands together.
Grandpa George and his grandchildren are so glad to have seen the return of the fireflies, watching their happy reunion with their glowworms partners.
For once, all the bush creatures, including the jittery monkeys keep quiet. Kate and her brother Josh have many questions about the fireflies. Grandpa George promises to tell them more about the magical fireflies and their glowworm partners as soon as they get home.
About Maretha Botha
African Adventure Books:
Book 1 – Flame and Hope: An African Adventure
Book 2 – Friends: An African Adventure
Meet Maretha Online: