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Lighten' Bugs
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Lighten' Bugs


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A very fond memory of my childhood is lightenin' bugs.  Heck, everybody out in California calls em 'Fireflies' these days, but in our day, they was lightenin' bugs!  Even the good ol' folks what still lives in Arkansas calls em fireflies.  Heck, they didn't look to me like they had fire in their tails!

Everybody what knows about lightenin' bugs knows the light in their caboose goes on and off like lightenin'.  That's why they called em lightenin' bugs to start with!

Fire stays on all the time, so where did they ever get the name of Fireflies?

At the church we used to catch em and put em in a jar.  We'd be outside during altar call or after church in our sunday threads tearing around in the lot next to the church chasin' em all over the place.  It was a lot of fun til Momma came out and saw the mess we'd made of our clothes.  Then there'd be fire on OUR caboose!

Know what?  Them things didn't lighten during the day.  And if you kept them in a jar all tightened up, they wouldn't lighten that night either!  I've heard the scientific explanation as to how lightenin' bugs really work, but it don't make a whole lot of sense to me . . .  Somethin' 'bout phosphorus . . .

Who cares?  Besides, what's that got to do with the price of tea in China?  All I know is driving through the woods there north of Rector, AR., you can see whole fields of them, and to see hundreds and hundreds of them all flashing at the same time is quite a site!  It's amazing to see those lights going off and on intermittently, each going round in their own little circles.

My southpaw baseball pitcher cousin tole me his Mom said one time "they look like men, all going 'round in circles all the time!"

Heck, I'd be going round in circles too if my tail was on fire!

George Cavaness
10-09-1994



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