TITLE: Chapter 4: A Mystery in Feather Grove
By Caitlin Dea
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It was late one evening as Fluffkin and Lilly prepared for bed. They fluffed the nest as Mama added some of her own feathers for comfort. Mama and Papa duck tucked Lilly and Fluffkin in for bed. Every night before finally drifting off to sleep, Fluffkin and Lilly would gaze at all the stars in the night sky while talking about their plans for the next day.
“Mama said we can go for a picnic tomorrow on the island in the center of the lake,” said Fluffkin.
“I'm so excited to explore and see what is over there,” replied Lilly.
“Doesn't the island have a name?” asked Fluffkin.
“Nope. I've asked around and nobody seems to have a name for it. They just call it 'the island,' answered Lilly.
While Lilly was talking, Fluffkin sat up to peer at the island over the side of the nest. To her surprise she saw yellow lights moving all around the island.
“Look!” said Fluffkin. “What are those lights doing on the island?” exclaimed Fluffkin.
Lilly's head shot up over the side of the nest.
“I don't know,” quacked Lilly. “I've never seen anything like them before.”
“What if they are the glowing eyes of snakes or something worse?” said Lilly a little frightened now.
“I hope not,” peeped Lilly, “because we are going to take a picnic on that island tomorrow.”
As Fluffkin and Lilly drifted off to sleep, they wondered if their Mama and Papa knew of the danger found on the island. The two sisters slept a little closer to each other that night hoping that the eerie yellow lights would stay on the other side of the lake.
Mama and Papa duck woke Lilly and Fluffkin up early the next morning.
“Hurry, hurry, my little ducklings. We must prepare for our picnic,” said Papa duck.
As Fluffkin and Lilly were bustled our of the nest they gave a quick glance toward the distant island. The yellow lights had completely vanished. It appeared as if the sun had scared away the spooky lights and restore safety back to the island.
Once Mama and Papa duck had gathered some food, the little duck family started swimming across the lake toward the island. The water was so clear the little ducklings could see the schools of fish swimming below them. Every so often the sisters would dive down and try to catch a minnow, but the little fishes were always too fast to catch.
A little later the feathered family reached the shores of the island safe and sound. After swimming the little ducklings were very hungry so their parents decided that it was time to eat. A buffet of seaweed, tender grass, and a few bugs were laid out on the beach, Each morsel was gently warmed by the sun which made everything quite delicious. Once the meal was finished, Mama and Papa suck let Fluffkin and Lilly explore the island.
Fluffkin and Lilly immediately began searching the shores for pretty shells or rocks to display in their fort. Lilly found a bright purple oyster shell which was fondly approved of by Fluffkin. It started to get dark when Papa duck called his ducklings.
“How would you guys like to spend the night here on the island?” inquired Papa duck.
Lilly and Fluffkin looked around to see if there was any sign of the eerie yellow lights. There seemed to be no danger so they quickly nodded to their papa. The family began to gather grasses to rest on for the night. As Lilly was searching around in one of the grasses she saw a float light not too far ahead of her. She too scan the area for her parents when she ran smack dab into Fluffkin.
“I saw the lights again!” they both cried in unison.
More lights began to appear all over the island. Fluffkin and Lilly began to get scared as the lights moved in from the others and headed straight for Fluffkin.
“It's gonna get me!” yelled Fluffkin.
Lilly stood frozen in fear as the light came closer and closer to her sister. Just then, out of a cluster of marsh grasses, Papa duck appeared.
“What is going on over here?” said Papa duck.
For a moment he glanced at the giant light approaching Fluffkin. He then proceeded to waddle over to it and stretch out his wing to touch it. Lilly and Fluffkin watched as the yellow glow landed on Papa duck's wingtip.
“Don't tell me you're afraid of this little guy,” chuckled Papa duck.
“What is it?” asked Lilly.
“This here is a bug who glows.”
The two ducklings moved in closer to find the little floating light had turned into a little black and white bug with two very long antennae.
“What are these bugs called?” asked Fluffkin now examining one which had landed on her own wing.
“They are called lightning bugs or fireflies,” said Papa, “and they are really fun to catch.
The rest of the evening was spent capturing the little glowing insects which floated around the island. When it was time for bed, Fluffkin and Lilly released all the little fireflies so that they appeared to descend as a wave of warm light into the night sky. Mama now called her little ducklings back to the makeshift nest.
“Good night my little fireflies,” said Mama and Papa duck.
“Good night Mama and Papa bug,” echoed Lilly and Fluffkin in unison.
Before Lilly and Fluffkin finally fell asleep, Lilly sat up and said, “Fluffkin, I know what we can name this place,”
“What's that?” answered Fluffkin who was still mesmerized as she watched the yellow lights float about.
“Firefly Isle,” announced Lilly proudly.
“What a wonderful name!” replied Lilly.
And Firefly Isle it was. From that day on the little island in the middle of the lake was endearingly called Firefly Isle. Even to this day, ducklings still beg their parents to picnic or even spend the night in the famous land of the glowing lightning bugs.
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