Seeing that further urging was useless, Chirpy Cricket left Buster and hurried away to find Jennie Junebug. And to his delight, she said at once that she would be much pleased to attend the torchlight procession. She did wish, however, that he had invited her earlier, because she would have liked a new gown for the occasion.
“Oh, come just as you are!” said Chirpy Cricket.
“What! With my apron on?” Jennie Junebug exclaimed.
Chirpy Cricket went off laughing. Buster Bumblebee had caused him some disappointment. But now he was feeling quite cheerful again.
As he went from place to place inviting his friends to come to the torchlight procession that night, he found that a good many felt as Buster Bumblebee did. They declined to break their life-long rule of going early to bed. But there were others, such as Mr. Moses Mosquito, Kiddie Katydid, and Mehitable Moth, who said at once that they were glad he asked them and that they wouldn’t miss the fun for anything.
Meanwhile Freddie Firefly was just as busy as Chirpy Cricket. And he had somewhat better luck. For not only did fifty-five of his brothers and six dozen of his cousins promise to take part in the procession—and bring their lights, too—but at least three hundred others, including some of Freddie’s second and third cousins, agreed gladly to join in the evening’s sport.
So before dark Freddie sent a message to Chirpy Cricket by Greenie Grasshopper, telling him that he might count on a big turnout of the Firefly family.
That was good news. And Chirpy Cricket felt so happy that he began to sing earlier in the evening than was his custom.
While it was still dusk he went to the stone wall where the procession was to form. And of course he had to wait there a long time before the first of the Firefly family appeared.
Even for a person as cheerful as Chirpy Cricket, it was hard to wait. But he consoled himself by chirping his loudest.
“I suppose Freddie Firefly and all his relations are very busy getting their lights ready,” he thought.
At last, when it was quite dark, Freddie Firefly lighted on a head of timothy grass close beside the stone wall and began to flash his light right in Chirpy Cricket’s face.
“Here I am, just as I promised!” he called.
AT THE STONE WALL
“Where’s the rest of your crowd?” Chirpy Cricket asked Freddie Firefly, when they met by the stone wall. “It’s getting darker every minute. And the torchlight procession ought to start right away.”
“They’re coming,” said Freddie. “If you look sharp you can see them now, crossing the meadow.”
Chirpy Cricket tried to see through the blackness of the night. After gazing steadily for a few moments he was able to make out a patch of twinkling lights, which looked a good deal like stars, except that they were too low. Since they kept growing brighter, Chirpy Cricket knew that they must be moving towards him, and that many of the Firefly family had accepted his invitation.