MommaBug's Bedtime Story

by Ward Parkway

   "Tell me again, MommaBug! Tell me again!" pleaded LilBug, who was very excited and getting ready for bedtime. LilBug's eyes, all 600 of 'em, were open wide , looking up at MommaBug. LilBug was very happy. LilBug loved MommaBug and they lived together in a tidy little corner of a little blue room near a big clear window that looked out into the great big world outside.

   "Okay, I'll tell you the story again." said MommaBug, smiling down at LilBug. "It is a good story, isn't it? My MommaBug told it to me when I was just your size. And her MommaBug told it to her. And so on and so forth and the story just goes way back like that as far as any bug can remember."

   MommaBug laid LilBug down in the little bug bed. Then with the top two of her six long legs began gently stroking her delicate antennae. MommaBug had the most beautiful shell. The setting sunlight made it shine in a brilliant rainbow of colors.

   "Don't we have a pretty view, LilBug?" asked MommaBug. "The great big world outside the big clear window wasn't always the way it is now. In fact, everything around us used to be very, very different a long, long time ago."

   "How, MommaBug? How?" asked LilBug. LilBug was very curious.

   "Well, there used to be lots of people who came here. Do you remember stories about the people, LilBug?"

   LilBug thought hard, then remembered! "They looked like that picture over there on the wall, didn't they MommaBug? Didn't they?!"

   "Why yes they did!" smiled MommaBug. She was so proud of how well LilBug remembered the story. LilBug was very smart.

   So MommaBug snuggled up really, really close to LilBug and said, "Well, way back when, before any bug can remember, those people in the picture were real! Those people built this little blue room with our tidy little corner near the big clear window that looks out into the great big world outside. Take a look outside the big clear window and tell me what you see LilBug."

   LilBug's eyes, all 600 of 'em, blinked and looked out of the big clear window into the great big world outside. "There's a lot of pretty black cans stacked up outside," answered LilBug proudly, "and each one has a picture on it that looks like the six black and yellow petals of a flower with a dot in the middle!" LilBug was very good at seeing things.

   "Why yes, LilBug," said MommaBug, "those pretty black cans out there are called drums and each one wears a magic flower. That flower is also on that sign over there." MommaBug pointed one of her six long legs at a small square sign with black and yellow stripes hanging on the wall across the little blue room that she and LilBug lived in. In the middle of the sign LilBug could also see the very same black and yellow flower that was on the pretty black drums stacked up outside the big clear window.

   MommaBug continued, "Every day the people would come and bring more pretty black drums to stack up in rows outside the big clear window. Sometimes the people would even come into our little blue room. They never bothered us bugs, they probably didn't even notice us, but they smelled very funny. All the bugs would laugh at the way the people smelled." MommaBug laughed and gave LilBug a warm hug.

   "I guess this must've gone on for a long, long time," sighed MommaBug, "but one day the people looked like they weren't feeling so good."

   "Were they tired?" asked LilBug, with eye's, all 600 of 'em, looking up at MommaBug.

   "Why yes, LilBug! They were very tired, very tired indeed!" exclaimed MommaBug. "And they just got tireder and tireder and slower and slower until they were just as tired and slow as they could get. Then one day they just never came back and that was the end of those people. What do you think of that, LilBug?" MommaBug smiled down at LilBug, who was getting very sleepy. She loved her LilBug so much.

   "MommaBug?" asked LilBug with a big sleepy yawn, "What could've become of all those people? Why didn't they ever come back?"

   "Well LilBug, I think those people finally just ran out of steam. Or something. Anyway, they left us with this little blue room where we could live in our tidy little corner near the big clear window that looks out into the great big world outside. There are many more of us bugs these days. And every bug is mostly happy in our peaceful little world. My MommaBug told me that it would be this way for us bugs for a long, long time."

   "I love you MommaBug," said LilBug, reaching up to give MommaBug a hug and a kiss. "And I love this little blue room and our tidy little corner near the big clear window that looks out into the great big world outside. I'm a very lucky bug, aren't I?"

   "Why yes you are, LilBug!," beamed MommaBug, pulling a soft feather blanket over LilBug who was now sound asleep in the little bug bed, "Yes you are."

©1997 Jim Leftwich - All Rights Reserved