Soon a great host of Freddie’s relations surrounded Chirpy Cricket. They flashed their lights in his eyes, so that he was almost blinded by the glare. And it was only with much difficulty that he could see Moses Mosquito, Kiddie Katydid, and Mehitable Moth, who had also arrived by that time.
“What are we going to do?” everybody asked Chirpy Cricket at the same time. So there was nothing he could do but mount the wall and make a speech.
“Friends—” he said, in his loudest voice—“I’m glad to see so many of you present. Our torchlight procession is going to be an even greater success than the one that Farmer Green went to see in the village—if you’ll only follow my directions.”
“We will!” his listeners cried.
“Please don’t ask us to march after dawn breaks, for we’ll be ready for bed by that time,” Freddie Firefly interrupted.
“I understand,” Chirpy Cricket replied. “And now this is what I want you all to do: you must fall in line one behind another. And when everybody’s ready I’ll take my place at the head of the procession and lead you all around the farm, and right past Farmer Green’s window, too.”
“Forming a line is going to be hard work,” somebody objected.
But Chirpy Cricket arranged that matter simply enough.
“Just form your line along the stone wall” he directed them. “The wall is straight enough. And to tell the truth, that’s exactly why I told Freddie that we’d meet here.”
“But what about Moses Mosquito and Kiddie Katydid and Mehitable Moth?” Freddie inquired somewhat anxiously.
“Well, what about them?” Chirpy asked him. “What do you mean?”
“They haven’t brought any lights,” Freddie pointed out. “So what’s the use of their being in the procession?”
“Oh, that’s all right!” Chirpy Cricket assured him. “They’re going to carry the banners.”
When Chirpy Cricket mentioned “banners,” Mehitable Moth, Kiddie Katydid, and Moses Mosquito stepped forward with looks of pride on their faces— so far as one could see their faces by the glimmer of the flashing lights of the Firefly family. And at the same time Freddie Firefly shouldered his way through the crowd and plucked at Chirpy Cricket’s sleeve.
“Don’t you think—” he asked earnestly—“don’t you think I ought to carry one of the banners myself?”
“Perhaps so!” answered Chirpy Cricket. He was so taken aback that he really didn’t know what else to say. “Which one do you prefer?”
“I’d have to see them before I made a choice,” Freddie Firefly told him in a more hopeful tone.
So Chirpy ordered Kiddie Katydid and Moses and Mehitable to produce their banners, which they had left leaning against the wall.
They brought them forth fearfully, each hoping that his—or hers—wasn’t going to be taken away and handed over to Freddie Firefly to carry in the procession.