The Noisy Fly, by Jeannette Marks
The Cheerful Cricket
Mrs. Cricky came out of her house with an angry flounce. What in the
world was all this noise about! zzz! zzz! then a thump and a bump and
the strangest little noises, more like a falsetto squeak than anything
else. This had been going on for the last minute, which is a whole hour
for a cricket, and going on while she was trying to teach Chee and Chirk
and Chirp their lessons in Running and Humming. These two things, unlike
other people, they always did at the same time.
Mrs. Cricky came out with an angry little flounce, as I said, onto the
piazza of Grass Cottage. She had been fearfully disturbed, but the
instant she saw the Noisy Fly she broke into chirping merriment. The
Noisy Fly had evidently been to last evening's concert and was trying to
imitate Miss K. T. Did in the Fire-Fly Dance. He was whisking around at
a great rate, his long legs looking very spindly under his fat black
body. But what amused Mrs. Cricky most was the way, in trying to do the
wing step, his legs got tangled up for all the world as if they were on
sticky fly paper. Of course, he fell over, and that accounted for the
bumping and the buzzing. But each time he got up and went at it again as
if nothing had happened, singing in his high falsetto voice the tune
Miss Glo-Worm had sung, which was a little Moonbeam Song,—to find out
what a Moonbeam Song is you must look long at the sky.
Not too fast_
About this place,
Fairies leave No Fairy trace.
Weave him in
And weave him out,
Spin it thin
And round about.
Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding
See our spell
Can hold him fast.
The hour is past.
It was not very polite for Mrs. Cricky to laugh, but really she could
not help it. Never did she see such a buzzing, clumsy attempt at
imitation as this. By this time the Noisy Fly had spied Mrs. Cricky, and
his popping black eyes scanned her anxiously, for he was accustomed to
be driven off wherever he went. Mrs. Cricky remembered the interrupted
lessons and spoke severely to him:
"Well, Noisy! here again. You are always disturbing somebody. You are
just like some other folks who never know when they are not
wanted. Noisy people are always a nuisance. You are about, before
respectable crickets have a chance to go to sleep. Buzz, Buzz, Buzz! so
that there is no sleeping after that. Your noisy wings are worse than
Toadie Todson's heavy feet, when he used to come hopping onto the piazza
after the folks were asleep. And what is more, you're not much cleaner."
By this time Mrs. Cricky had worked herself into a state of "righteous
indignation," and concluded all she had to say with a sharp, "Be off."
Off went Noisy in a great flurry and skurry; he fairly dropped from the
roof of the piazza, where he had been hanging upside down, in his haste
to let go and get away. When Mrs. Cricky went back into the school room
she found that Chirp had upset his brown Grasshopper writing ink all
over the floor and was wiping it up with his little wing and smearing it
onto Chee. Now this ink was expensive, and could be bought only from the
Grasshopper who manufactured it himself. She looked at Chirp just one
second and told him to bring the Timothy Grass rod hanging in the
corner. Chirp knew what that meant, but he took his punishment bravely.
When Mrs. Cricky had finished, she dropped the rod on the floor with a
sigh and gathered Chirp into her wings: "O! Chirpie, Chirpie, why will
you be such a naughty little cricket and make me punish you?" Then
Mother Cricky gave them a little talk about Noisy, and told them there
were two things they must always remember to be: Clean, and quiet when
it was proper to be quiet. After this she gave them some Red Clover
Honey and sent them out to play.