Fire Fly Air Force-Chapter 1

This is a serialized version of a book written by Grumpa Joe titled Fire Fly Air Force. It has a special message for young and old.

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including those yet to be invented or discovered, without permission in writing from the publisher and author.


To  Grampa Jim, the only grandparent I ever knew, and to the grandparents I never had the opportunity to meet.


Chapter 1

Bugs fill the world. Bugs, or insects as we know them, all have a purpose in the grand scheme of life. The ecology needs bugs. A gardener knows that when he plants a flower or vegetable, a specific bug will attack it, and eat it. Other bugs attack different bugs for food.

Bugs provide food for birds and mammals too. They help to break down organic matter to speed decomposition. A healthy forest, for instance, depends on many bugs to keep it growing and thriving. Trees depend on organic matter for their nourishment, and the bugs help produce organic matter.

This story is about a beetle. The beetle’s name is Luke. Luke is a firefly or lightning bug. His real purpose in the ecology is unclear, but Luke eats nectar and other insects.

Fireflies have a very special talent. God gave them a unique chemistry to create light. Luke can excite chemicals in part of his body to make a bright yellow light. On summer nights, Luke and his relatives flash their lights. Luke’s yellow flashes are signals to his friends. Flashing is Luke’s way to communicate.

It was June when Luke was old enough to strike out on his own. Until this time, he spent his chid hood in the ground as a glow worm. Now, his wings were finally strong enough to fly. Luke tried very hard to fly.

He practiced often. Each time he got a little closer to lifting into the air. After several nights of trying, he finally flew.

While he was learning to fly, he was also learning about his tail light. His body had all the chemicals to make the light work, but he didn’t know how to turn it on. From the time he emerged from the larval stage, his body glowed with a weak yellow light. As an adult he could make his body flash a bright yellow light.

One evening Luke took off for a practice flight. He hadn’t flown very high yet, not like his older friends. They seemed to fly to the sky. Luke stayed close to the ground and the safety of the grass. On this night, Luke was determined to fly as high as his friends. Up, up, up he went. He wanted to reach the top of the tall bush. Every time he practiced, he used the bush to measure how high he flew. The bush also served as a safety net. If he got tired, he could land on a branch and rest. This time he pushed harder and harder. He kept reaching higher. He could see the top of the bush. Yes, he was nearing the crown. Luke never saw the crown before. The young lightening bug didn’t know what he would do when he got there, but he wanted to reach the top. His wings were tiring, but he continued to push. Yes, he could see over the top now, and the dark starry sky above. He had to rest, and landed on a leave at the very peak of the bush. His friends spotted him, and blinked their lights in approval.

Luke was excited and happy. He reached his goal to fly to the top of the bush. In his excitement he forgot his light. His heart was beating fast. One of Luke’s friends buzzed by, blinking his tail light as he passed. Luke was still breathing heavy when he flapped his wings in approval. As he did that, his tail light began to glow. At first it was just a faint glimmer. Suddenly, Luke knew how to turn his light on. He took a deep breath then flexed his wing muscles again. His light came on. This time, the glow was brighter. He did it over, and over, and over, until his light was as bright, and beautiful as any of his friends.

The next night Luke was confident that he would join his friends. His flying improved and he could make his tail light blink brightly. He now knew how to switch the light on and off whenever he wanted. Tonight, he would have fun with his friends, Lenny and Jaime. Lenny buzzed him from the top of the bush last night. Jaime sent him flashes from above too.

Luke stepped off the blade of grass that he used as his launch pad. His wings fluttered and he spiraled straight up, to the top of the bush and landed. Lenny was there to greet him. Jaime buzzed both of them with his tail light flashing. Luke and Lenny launched and joined Jaime in flight. Together they spiraled up, dipped, then spiraled up again. They followed each other’s flashes. Sometimes they kept their tail lights dark to hide from each other. Luke became better and better as the night passed. His light was brighter than his friends. He made maneuvers that they couldn’t make. It became clear to Lenny and Jaime that Luke was special.

To be Continued. . .