V. At the Stone Wall

"Where's the rest of your crowd?" Chirpy Cricket asked Freddie Firefly, when they met by the stone wall. "It's getting darker every minute. And the torchlight procession ought to start right away."

"They're coming," said Freddie. "If you look sharp you can see them now, crossing the meadow."

Chirpy Cricket tried to see through the blackness of the night. After gazing steadily for a few moments he was able to make out a patch of twinkling lights, which looked a good deal like stars, except that they were too low. Since they kept growing brighter, Chirpy Cricket knew that they must be moving towards him, and that many of the Firefly family had accepted his invitation.

Soon a great host of Freddie's relations surrounded Chirpy Cricket. They flashed their lights in his eyes, so that he was almost blinded by the glare. And it was only with much difficulty that he could see Moses Mosquito, Kiddie Katydid, and Mehitable Moth, who had also arrived by that time.

"What are we going to do?" everybody asked Chirpy Cricket at the same time. So there was nothing he could do but mount the wall and make a speech.

"Friends--" he said, in his loudest voice--"I'm glad to see so many of you present. Our torchlight procession is going to be an even greater success than the one that Farmer Green went to see in the village--if you'll only follow my directions."

"We will!" his listeners cried.

"Please don't ask us to march after dawn breaks, for we'll be ready for bed by that time," Freddie Firefly interrupted.

"I understand," Chirpy Cricket replied. "And now this is what I want you all to do: you must fall in line one behind another. And when everybody's ready I'll take my place at the head of the procession and lead you all around the farm, and right past Farmer Green's window, too."

"Forming a line is going to be hard work," somebody objected.

But Chirpy Cricket arranged that matter simply enough.

"Just form your line along the stone wall" he directed them. "The wall is straight enough. And to tell the truth, that's exactly why I told Freddie that we'd meet here."

"But what about Moses Mosquito and Kiddie Katydid and Mehitable Moth?" Freddie inquired somewhat anxiously.

"Well, what about them?" Chirpy asked him. "What do you mean?"

"They haven't brought any lights," Freddie pointed out. "So what's the use of their being in the procession?"

"Oh, that's all right!" Chirpy Cricket assured him. "They're going to carry the banners."