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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

TITLE: Why Are You Hiding?
By Peter Stone
07/20/07


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Ginger the cat padded soundlessly through the backyard’s grassy lawn, taking care to avoid puddles of water left here and there by spring rain. It was dusk, her favorite time of day. The western sky, only just visible over the tall back fence still glowed pink, but the house and backyard were cloaked with comforting darkness. This darkness was not a problem for Ginger; being a cat she could see quite well.

Sniffing the air, Ginger savored the spring fragrances, her slowly shedding warm winter coat shielding her from the cold wind blowing through the yard. She placed her right paw on a leaf but quickly jerked it back when the leaf buzzed.

Now everyone knows that leaves do not buzz, so this was a mystery that Ginger simply had to investigate. Crouching down, she pointed her ears at the leaf and with her night vision was able to see a small brown head poking out. It was a beetle.

"What are you doing under this leaf, little beetle? I thought that beetles came out at dusk and flew around?"

“I’m hiding,” answered the little brown beetle.

“Really? And why are you hiding?”

The beetle glanced backwards under the leaf, then hesitantly looked back at Ginger, “I’m hiding because I’m embarrassed.”

Ginger rested her fury chin on her paws. “Why are you embarrassed, little beetle?”

“Umm, it’s because my bottom’s glowing,” whispered the beetle shyly.

“Oh!” exclaimed Ginger, trying so very hard not to laugh. “You’ve just hatched, have you?”

“Ah, yes. Just a little while ago,” answered the beetle.

“Well, I’ve got good news for you,” began Ginger, “you do not need to worry about your bottom glowing. You see - you are a firefly. Your bottom is supposed to glow.”

“But I don’t want to be teased by the other bugs! Look what they are doing to my brother up there!” protested the beetle.

Ginger looked up and saw another firefly flitting through the air, his rear end glowing with a gentle yellow light. Turning her ears in that direction, she could hear the mosquitoes, flies, and some black beetles taunting him. They were saying things like this:

“Hey, Glowbutt! Come and shed some light on me!”

“Don’t look now, but your bottom’s on fire!”

“Look everyone, it’s Lightning Butt to the rescue!”

Ginger looked back at the firefly hiding under the leaf. “You know, little firefly, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, you should be proud!”

The beetle lifted his young head cautiously, “Why?”

“Because,” continued Ginger, “you are the light of the world. God put His light in you so that you can shine in the darkness and show everyone how beautiful His light is. Not for you to hide it under a leaf where no one can see it. So be proud of your light, and don’t take any notice of those silly bugs that get a kick out of teasing little ones like you. Now, look back at the sky. What do you see?"

"Mostly I can see my brother, glowing in the dark."

"That's right!" agreed Ginger, "Pretty special, isn't he? All by himself he is lighting up the darkness, driving it away. Now imagine that there were two of you..."

The firefly crawled out from under the leaf and looked up at his brother flying this way and that.

Ginger smiled encouragingly and added, “And you know, if you go out there and proudly display your light for all to see, I think you’ll see something else very special happen too.”

“Okay, I’ll do it! I’m not ashamed any more!” said the firefly. He opened his shell, popped out his wings, and soared boldly into the night sky.

Suddenly other leaves tipped over and six more fireflies that had been hiding flew into the darkness, following their brother.

Ginger stood up and stretched as only a cat can while enjoying the beautiful light show being performed by eight little fireflies.


* * *


Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.


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This article has been read 810 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 07/26/07
Such an endearing entry! Children will love this little story, and I loved it, too.
Phyllis Inniss 07/27/07
I don't know what has just happened, but my comments for you got backtracked to the previous entry. I wrote what a story teller you are. You should get your article printed in a children's book so a wider audience can read it.
Virginia Gorg07/27/07
This is well done. You have given personality to cats (who have so much anyway) and fireflies - neat combination and the simple understanding animals have of our great God. Flows well, reads easily, and could charm children, beautifully illustrated in water colors perhaps. :)
william price07/27/07
Very good and creative. I preached one time on a vision I had about a flock of lightning bugs. I enjoyed the story and the message. God bless.
Catrina Bradley 07/29/07
Such a wonderful story, and lesson. I loved the surprise he got by letting his light shine - encouraging others to "come out of their shells". Magnificent!
David Butler 07/29/07
I really enjoyed that. It's the kind of story that can appeal to all ages - especially all those that appreciate cats. Nice to see one portrayed as the good guy for a change!
This has gotta place well.
Dolores Stohler07/30/07
This is the cutest, cleverest devotional I have ever read. A winner for sure. God bless you.
Joanne Sher 07/30/07
Very sweet and fun - and I agree, great for kids!
Patty Wysong07/30/07
This is wonderful!! The characters are great, and believable and I could see the illustrations as I read. Very Good!!!
Debi Derrick07/30/07
This was really incredibly creative; and very, very sweet!
Loren T. Lowery07/31/07
Such a cute story with a great message. I can understand why your children and your class loved it. Not everyone can write for kids, but you did it fabulously!
Kristen Hester07/31/07
Okay, here's the verdict:
My ten-year-old: "Good. I think it's going to win."
My seven-year-old: "Is it okay to write 'fire butt?'" She thought it was very funny, but was surprised by your use of "butt" since we don't use that word. How about "fanny fire"? "Butt" is funnier, but not some moms might not approve.

This is an excellent children's story. I enjoyed it and enjoyed reading it to my children. (Hope I don't sound too much like a prude--those were my daughter's concerns more than mine.)
Sheri Gordon07/31/07
What an absolutely fun story. I loved this. This is great for kids -- with messages on so many levels. Fantastic job with this topic.

Oh, and very well written, too. The dialogue was so realistic -- if bugs and cats could talk. :)
Lynda Schultz 07/31/07
Love it! Crazy about cats and this one is pretty cool!
Jan Ackerson 07/31/07
I'm not a huge fan of anthropomorphic animals--but I AM a big fan of "bottom" humor, and this just slayed me. Perfection!
Julie Arduini08/01/07
So clever, and you know how to get and hold a child's attention. Any mention of a butt will do it! Great job!
Janice Fitzpatrick08/02/07
This is well done and so comical. I can't wait to read it to our 6 year old. I'll let you know what she thought. God bless.