The young girl swung the glass jar around with her eyes squeezed shut. After a few spins, she opened her eyes, steadying herself from the dizziness, and then peered into the jar with a hopeful smile. All too quickly that smile faded, her chapped lips forming a pout.
“You know,” a young man, although much older than her, peeled his eyes away from his book to look at her with a twinkle in his eye. “If you kept your eyes open, you’d be able to catch them much easier.”
“Or,” the girl placed her hands on her hips with sass, “you could help me, John.”
John placed a small piece of paper inside his book and closed the hard cover placing it on the steps next to where he sat. He stood up from the porch steps shoving his hands into his jeans pockets.
“Emily, there’s nothing to help you with. You just need slow movements. Otherwise, you’re going to scare the fireflies away.” John stood beside his sister and looked up into the sky. He stretched his arm out pointing above them. “I see a few just over there.”
Emily frowned. “I’m never going to reach them way up there.”
John chuckled. He stood behind Emily placing his hands underneath her arms. With a grunt, he lifted her into the air.
“You sure are getting heavy.” He observed.
Emily ignored her older brother as she stretched out her arms, one holding the empty glass jar, the other holding the lid. A wide grin formed across her face, hopeful that she would be able to catch at least one firefly.
John groaned, his arms beginning to shake with Emily’s weight. Emily swung her arm, causing John to lose his grip. He swiftly brought his little sister back down to the ground. He shook out his hand.
“Sorry, I guess I’m not as strong as I used to be.” He stated.
Emily peered into the glass jar with wide eyes. Her mouth formed an “O” as she stared in awe.
“Did you actually catch one?” John noticed the look on her face and looked into the jar. “Wow… You did get one! Nice job!”
“It’s so pretty!” Emily squealed.
Before they could admire the small firefly’s light for another moment, it found its way to the top of the jar and flew back into the open air.
“Oh, no!” Emily brought her arm back to try to capture the bug once more.
John grabbed Emily’s arm before she could swing it forward. “You forgot to put the lid on?” he tried not to laugh.
“I have to get it back!” Emily shouted trying to wriggle her arm out of John’s grip.
“No, you got to look at it up close for a bit.” John smiled down at her gently. He loosened his grip and watched Emily flop on the ground.
She lifted her chin watching the firefly fly away high into the star-filled sky. She frowned placing the empty jar next to her.
John sat down on the grass next to her and put his arm around her shoulder. He smiled up at the firefly and a few more came to join.
“They were meant to be free.” He reminded his sister.
After a moment, she smiled and nodded her head. They sat on the ground together for a while longer watching the cluster of fireflies create light against the navy blue sky.