The Revenge Of The Fireflies
: Sandman's Goodnight Stories
The Fireflies and the Goblins had always been good friends, just as
they were with the Fairies, until one night when the Goblins held a
frolic in the woods and did not invite the Fireflies to come.
It was a bright moonlight night, and the Goblins, who did not think
much about anyone or anything if it did not in some way help them, knew
they would not need the Fireflies' lanterns, so they did not bother to
send them an invitation.
When the moon was high up in the sky so it shone down on all the trees
in the woods, making it almost like daylight, the Goblins came tumbling
out of their rocks and began their frolic.
They tumbled and they played such antics in the moonlight that anyone
who did not know who they were and had seen them would surely have
thought them a lot of crazy little creatures.
Of course, the Fireflies came flying along, and when they saw what was
going on they began asking one another if anyone had received an
"It is plain to be seen why they did not invite us," said one old
Firefly. "They did not need us because the moon is shining."
"That shows us what their friendship is worth," said another. "If they
need our lights, they invite us; if not, we are forgotten."
For a few minutes all the Fireflies flashed with anger and then the old
Firefly said. "I think we can have revenge if all of you will do as I
tell you, and if I am not much mistaken those Goblin fellows will
remember us the next time they have a frolic, even if they do not need
All the Fireflies wanted to know what the old Firefly had in his mind,
but not a word would he tell them about his plan until they ran about
and called together all the Fireflies for miles and miles around.
Of course, it did not take those sprightly little creatures long to fly
miles and miles, and pretty soon in one corner of the woods were
gathered together thousands of Fireflies.
"My plan is this," said the old Firefly when they were all there, "the
Goblins are to go sailing on the lily pads after the frolic and we will
go around to all the rocks and alight on all of them, for that is where
they live, and when they return from their sail they will think their
homes are on fire.
"Shine as brightly as you can, every one of you, and don't wink or
blink, so the Goblins will not suspect us. They will have a good
fright, if nothing else."
Away went the Fireflies in groups of thousands, and pretty soon all the
rocks in the woods were covered; but not until the Goblins returned
from their moonlight sail did the Fireflies let their bright lights be
The Goblins stopped every one when they reached the woods, for all the
rocks were a blaze of light. "Oh, our homes!" they all cried; "someone
has set them on fire. What shall we do?"
Hither and thither like little bees they flew, but it was no use; they
could not enter their homes. They were all on fire.
"Where shall we sleep?" they began to ask one another, for they were
all very tired after the frolic.
"We can crawl under the leaves," said one Goblin, "but we dare not
sleep, for if the fairies should find us, no knowing what they would do
to us with their wands. We will have to stay awake all night, and in
the morning if the fire is out we can crawl into our homes, for, of
course, the rocks cannot burn."
"No, but they can be very hot and burn us," said another. "Oh dear, I
wish we had not gone sailing; perhaps we could have saved our homes."
So under the leaves they crawled, but not a wink of sleep did those
Goblins dare take, and when it was 'most daylight time the Fireflies
put out their lights and silently flew away.
When the Goblins went to their rocks they were surprised to find them
all cool and not at all hot as they had expected, and one of the
Goblins, putting a pointed little finger on the side of his pointed
nose said to the others: "I have a thought, and it is this: The
Fireflies were not invited to our frolic and I wonder if they alighted
on our rocks for revenge?"
"I wonder," said the others; but they were all so sleepy they could not
think, so in they tumbled and were soon fast asleep; but the next time
they gave a frolic the very first thing they did was to invite all the
Fireflies, and not one did they forget.