Perhaps it is a wonder that Chirpy could be so cheerful as he was, living under such difficulties as he did. But on the other hand, maybe he felt so carefree at night that he couldn’t help being jolly.
Anyhow, he was always ready for a good time. And if there was no good time at hand, usually Chirpy Cricket could think of some sort of frolic.
And so, at last, he hit upon the idea of a torchlight procession. Somebody had told him that Farmer Green’s family had seen such a parade in the village one evening. And Chirpy Cricket saw no reason why he and his friends should not enjoy one too, right there in the shadow of Blue Mountain.
“What they can do in the village, we can do here!” he exclaimed. And though it was still broad daylight—being not later than the middle of the afternoon—Chirpy set out at once to find Freddie Firefly, because he simply had to get Freddie to help him.
He found Freddie in the swampy part of the meadow, near the place where the cat-tails grew. And though Freddie was a bit sleepy, he became wide awake the moment he heard Chirpy Cricket’s voice.
“I’ve thought of a fine plan!” Chirpy Cricket cried. “I’m going to have a torchlight procession and I want you and all your family to take part in it.”
FREDDIE AGREES TO HELP
Never in all his life had Freddie Firefly heard of a torchlight procession—nor of any other sort of procession, either. So when Chirpy Cricket first mentioned his plan it was no wonder that Freddie looked somewhat blank.
But when Chirpy explained that a procession was a parade, which meant that you followed a leader—and a good many others—in a long line, Freddie Firefly began to understand.
“I need you and a few hundred of your nearest relations to furnish the lights,” Chirpy Cricket continued. “And I wish you’d ask your whole family to take part in the procession, for we really can’t have too many of you.”
“When will the procession take place?” Freddie Firefly wanted to know.
“To-night, as soon as it’s dark enough!” Chirpy told him.
“And where are we going to march?”
“Oh, all around the meadow!” said Chirpy Cricket. “The line will form along the stone wall by the roadside. ... Do you think you’ll be there?” he inquired somewhat anxiously.
“You certainly can count on me,” Freddie Firefly promised. “Of course, I can’t very well accept your invitation for more than about fifty-five of my brothers—and maybe six dozen of my cousins. But I hope there’ll be more of us than that.”
“Well, I hope so, too,” Chirpy Cricket said. “But even if there were no more than you can promise, we ought to have enough. Fifty-five and six dozen make one hundred and twenty-seven; and you make one hundred and twenty-eight.”
“Yes,” replied Freddie Firefly, though he thought it would have been more polite had Chirpy Cricket counted him first instead of last, since he was the first of his family to be invited. But he really couldn’t be angry with anyone so cheerful as Chirpy Cricket.