The Dizzy Moth, by Jeannette Marks

The Cheerful Cricket and Others

Dizzy batted up against the window, striking his head and wings with a hard rattle. Mother Moth, like a good mother, had told Dizzy time and time again never to fly toward a light. Dizzy had already had some experience with odd lights hung up on poles among the oak-trees. These lights had hoods over them, hard and white. Dizzy often wondered why the white hoods were not as soft as the oak-buds, notwithstanding the fact that his mother as often explained both to him and his little Sister Flutter that electric lights were not oak-buds.

Poor Dizzy, there is no use in preaching! Up, up through the oak-tree he flew, now tumbling against a branch, now untangling himself from a sticky new bud. Up, up Dizzy sped toward a square white glare of light. Little Flutter's yellow wings trembled with fear as she saw her brother start upward. She told him in a faint voice that window panes were very dangerous. Mother Moth had cautioned them both about window panes.

Dizzy stumbled onto the sill with a sickening thud, scattering the diamond dust from his sun-colored pearl wings into a fine glittering mist upon the green paint. Ugh! with a jar up flew the window and Dizzy, thinking faintly about little Flutter, cuddled among the clover blossoms, was swept into the room and its blinding light. The soft, warm fragrance of the night air reminded him of the cozy little place on the grass at the foot of the hill—the little birch-leaf home. Mother Moth, Flutter, and Father Buzz were all down there now, and listening perhaps to the Cob-web Symphony played by the Marsh Grass Vesper Quartette. And this, too, was the evening when the June Bug was to sing the June Bug Wing Solo, composed by himself. Dizzy had heard his father practising the accompaniment; and the melody and words kept running through Dizzy's head somewhat like this:

The June Bug Wing Solo

Moderately fast

  "Crack! Crack! my brittle wing,"
  Is all I ever sing,
  Tho' I've almost always said,
  When I've struck my little head,
  That I'm angry, with a buzz, buzz, buzz.

  "Crack! Crack! my brittle wing,"
  Be careful how you fling
  Where the dusty little Toad,
  Is still sitting on the road,
  Waiting for you, with a gulp, gulp, gulp.

How distinctly Dizzy could still hear Father Buzz linger over the last line with so much feeling, and with what terror he thought of all the dangers that might befall him.

Round and round the room Dizzy flew, scattering silver hairs from his lacy wings, each moment his head growing heavier. For an instant there was a tiny flash of light and the faint noise of a shrivelling wing. Half of Dizzy's wing had been burned off. What would Flutter think now of the blackened silver wing of her brother! Down went Dizzy, his good wing beating helplessly upon the window sill Flutter and Mother Moth were in his mind. The cool air blew in through the shutter, which a few minutes before had closed upon him.

But, wonderful Providence a big white hand opened the shutter and gently brushed out Dizzy. He had learned his lesson, and Mother Moth did not speak one reproachful word, as with dragging wing he hobbled into the little birch-leaf home. Father Buzz, however, was heard singing in an undertone these words to one of the melodies in the Cob-Web Symphony.

  "Singed wings
  Teach many things!"