To be sure, the family trumpeter—who awakened the household each morning and was a somewhat lighter sleeper than the others—the trumpeter claimed afterward that she dreamed that she heard somebody at the door that night. But that was all the good that came of Freddie Firefly’s efforts.
After trying his best to rouse Peppery Polly’s people, Freddie Firefly at last grew discouraged. He saw that the Bumblebee family was bound to sleep until dawn came, no matter what happened.
He reflected, then, that there were two things he could do. He could go back alone to the clover field and try to set that ill-tempered worker free—and no doubt get stung by her for his pains. Or he could go to the dance of the Fireflies over near the swamp, and have a delightful time.
“Let me see!” Freddie mused aloud. “I promised Peppery Polly that I’d come back with one of her own people—if I could. And since I can’t do that, I ought not to go back to the clover-patch at all. For if I did, it would be about the same as breaking a promise. ... No! I’ll go to the dance instead!” And away he flew.
Luckily the dance was not half finished when he reached it. And he had such a pleasant time that he forgot all about that Bumblebee worker, stuck fast to the thistle blossom.
But you may be sure that Peppery Polly did not forget him. After her friends set her free the following morning she spent the whole day looking for Freddie Firefly.
But he lay very low. And all the rest of the summer he shunned the clover field—and the flower garden, too.
On the day—or rather, on the night—when he first met Jennie Junebug, Freddie Firefly was ill at ease. In fact it might be truthfully said that he was quite upset.
One beautiful, warm, dark night early in the summer Freddie was hurrying to join a big family party which was already gathering in the hollow beyond the hill.
He was scooting along through the damp air, flashing his light at the rate of about thirty-six times a minute, when a heavy body bumped into him and knocked him head over heels upon the grass-carpeted ground.
It was no wonder that he felt upset. And he felt quite peevish, too, as he picked himself up and looked about him to see what had happened.
The next moment he was flashing his light into the blinking eyes of an enormous fat person, who seemed to be dazed, either by the shock of the collision or by the light—Freddie Firefly couldn’t tell which.
“Why don’t you look where you’re going?” Freddie cried impatiently. “You knocked the breath out of me. And you almost broke one of my legs.” The next instant he was heartily ashamed of himself; for he saw, to his surprise, that he was talking to a lady. “Oh! I beg your pardon!” he cried. “Ex—excuse me! I hope you’re not seriously injured?”