The Caddisfly’s Glass: A Fable

This post is in response to a challenge issued over at Hobbling Around.

A young caddisfly jetted through the hot air one summer day. The sun had reached its peak in the sky and he knew he had but a few hours to reach his destination before night overcame its light. He quietly buzzed on his way, determined to not let a single thing keep him from marshy home by the great big lake.

As he passed over a hill, a sudden light blinded him. It’s very difficult for a fly to continue his flight pattern when such a seemingly random phenomenon has just occurred. The caddisfly slowed his flight.

“What could cause a light this bright?” asked the caddisfly, unaware of his natural rhyming ability.

Carefully, the caddisfly made his way to the ground. There, amongst the dirt and grass, surrounded by the fluff of what seemed like a million dandelions, set a single piece of glass.

As the caddisfly moved nearer, he saw the strangest item he had ever encountered. Inside this piece of glass sat another fly. Never before had the young fly seen such a thing.

Hoping to get the attention of the fly in glass, the caddisfly began to wave. To his astonishment, the glass fly waved back at the exact same time. The caddisfly took a step closer. Peering into the glass, he began to realize something: this was the most beautiful caddisfly he had ever laid eyes on.

“A fly like this can’t possibly be left here all alone,” he said. “No other fly is as perfect as the one in this glass.” With a glance left and glance right, he picked up the glass. He sat transfixed by this fly, unable to take tear his gaze away.

The caddisfly had not forgotten his original mission, though. He knew he must continue on his way if he was to make it home.

“You shall come to the marsh by the great big lake,” said the caddisfly continuing to stare at the glass. The glass fly clearly understood, mouthing the words the caddisfly had spoken as they continued on their way.

At the bottom of the hill, the caddisfly came across a grasshopper headed the opposite direction.

“Good day caddisfly,” he called. “Where are you headed off to this fine day?”

“To the marsh by the great big lake,” said the caddisfly, never looking away from the glass fly.

“Well, be very careful my friend,” the grasshopper said. “Two hills down is a great danger. You might be able to make it across safely if you put down that piece of glass.”

“This piece of glass, dear grasshopper, contains the most beautiful fly in all the land. No danger could keep us from making our way to the marsh,” said the fly. With that, he continued on his way, glass in hand.

At the top of the next hill, a ladybug began to flutter alongside the fly. After exchanging pleasantries, the ladybug started to look at the glass.

“Why do you carry this glass with you?” questioned the ladybug.

“My friend is coming to the marsh next to the great big lake,” said the caddisfly. He had not stopped looking at his new friend, the glass fly, since the second he had found him. Every motion that he made, his new friend made as well. The fly felt honored, having a fly as perfect as this mimic him in every way.

“Your friend?” said the ladybug, puzzled. Ladybugs are decidedly smarter than flies, but they can be far too kind. She did not want to break the news to the fly that he was carrying just a piece of discarded glass with him. He loved it so much.

“Yes ma’am,” said the fly. “We will fly just over that next hill and be home.”

“You might want to put that glass down,” said the ladybug. “No bug can fly fast enough to make it to the marsh safely if they are carrying a heavy piece of glass with them.”

The fly glanced at the ladybug for a mere second, return his look to the shimmering fly in front of him. “It will be okay,” the fly said, reassuring his friend. “This ladybug does not know what she is talking about.”

The flies flew away, leaving the ladybug shaking her head in the distance.

The caddisfly reached the final hill just as dusk sat in.

“Perfect timing,” the caddisfly said to his newfound friend. “We shall be in the marsh by nightfall.”

“Did you say something about the marsh?” cried a turtle, his deep voice echoing off of a row of trees. “Why, it is just across this hard path. It can be very dangerous. A large creature crushed a dear friend of mine as we tried to cross the dark path. You should put that glass down. Otherwise, you won’t be able to fly fast enough.”

“Pish posh,” said the fly. “No dark path will separate me from this perfect creature.” He stared at the glass, beginning to fly over the dark path the turtle had spoken of.

“Don’t say you weren’t warned,” cried the turtle as the caddisfly continued.

The fly had made his way across a great deal of the dark path. He had not come across another creature. “What was everyone so concerned about?” said the caddisfly to his new friend. “There is no one here that will stop our flight to the marsh.”

With but a few feet left on his journey, though, the fly’s flight began to slow. The light in the sky was beginning to fade and with it the glass fly began to dim.

“Are you still there, friend?” cried the fly, slowing his flight. He could not leave his friend here on the dark path if he had, somehow, fallen out of the glass. He began to rapidly look about, calling for his friend.

“Maybe he went towards those two big lights,” said the fly. He began to fly towards the lights, forgetting all about his home in the marsh. As he neared the lights, the fly in glass grew brighter.

“There you are, friend!” he cried. “What kind of fool would lose the most beautiful fly in the world?”

As he stopped, relieved at the return of the glass fly, the lights moved quickly towards him. He barely noticed, unable to look away from his piece of glass. The creature moved closer, its hot metal body headed straight towards the caddisfly.


Moral of the story: You can’t keep a watchful eye if you’re only thinking of I.

Also, windshields are super-dangerous for bugs. Watch out for those.


17 thoughts on “The Caddisfly’s Glass: A Fable

  1. Remember that one time you gave me a lovely blog award? Well congratulations I’m bestowing the same honor upon you, except for it’s a versatile blogger award. So that’s a bummer, right?


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