The Fireflies and the Goblins had always been good friends, just as they were good friends with the Fairies, until one night the Goblins were playing in the forest and hadn’t invited the Fireflies to join them. It was a clear night with moonlight, and the Goblins, who never really thought about anything or anyone unless it helped them in some way, knew that they wouldn’t need the Fireflies’ lanterns. So they didn’t bother to send them an invitation.
When the moon was high in the sky and shone on all the trees in the forest, making it almost daylight, the Goblins tumbled out of their rocks and began playing with each other. They tumbled and played and did such crazy antics in the moonlight that anyone who didn’t know who they were would surely have taken them for crazy creatures. Of course, the Fireflies also flew by, and when they saw what was going on, they began asking each other if anyone had received an invitation.
“It’s clear why they didn’t invite us,” said an old Firefly. “They don’t 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 simply forgotten.”
For a few minutes, all the Fireflies flashed with anger, and then the old Firefly said, “I think we can take revenge if you all do what I say. If I’m not mistaken, those strange goblins will think of us for a long time the next time they have a romp, even if they don’t need us…”
All the Fireflies wanted to know what the old Firefly had in mind, but he wouldn’t say a word about his plan until they ran around and called all the Fireflies in the area together. Of course, it didn’t take long for those cheerful little creatures to fly in from miles and miles away, and soon thousands of Fireflies were gathered in a corner of the forest.
“My plan is as follows,” said the old Firefly when they were all there. “The Goblins will sail on the water lilies after the romp. Meanwhile, we will go to their rocks and settle there, as that’s where they live. When they return from their sailing trips, they will think their homes are on fire.”
“So shine as brightly as you can, each of you, and don’t wink or blink so that the Goblins won’t suspect us. They will be scared, as they have never been scared of anything before.”
And off went the Fireflies in groups of thousands, and soon all the rocks in the forest were covered. But it was only when the Goblins returned from their moonlight sailing trips that the Fireflies showed their bright lights. The Goblins stopped when they reached the forest, for all the rocks were bathed in a glow of light. “Oh, oh our homes!” they all cried, “someone set our homes on fire. What should we do now?” They flew here and there like bees to their homes, but it was no use, they couldn’t get inside. They were all on fire.
“Where will we sleep now?” they began asking each other, for they were all very tired after the romp.
“We can crawl under the leaves,” said one Goblin, “but we probably won’t dare to sleep, because if the Fairies find us, we don’t know what they will do with their magic wands. We’ll have to stay awake all night. In the morning, when the fire is out, we can crawl into our homes, because rocks can’t burn, of course.”
“No, but the rocks can be very hot and burn us,” said another. “Oh dear, I wish we hadn’t gone sailing; maybe we could have saved our homes.”
So they crawled under the leaves, but they didn’t dare to sleep for a minute. When daylight was in sight, the Fireflies extinguished their lights and flew away in silence. When the Goblins arrived at their rocks, they were surprised to find them all cool and not hot, as they had expected. One of the Goblins, who put his pointed pinky finger to 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 romp, and I wonder if they may have descended on our rocks to take revenge.”
“I wonder, I wonder,” said the others, but they were all so sleepy that they couldn’t think well. So they stumbled inside and slept soon after. But the next time they had a romp, the very first thing they did, just to be safe, was to invite all the Fireflies, and they didn’t forget a single one!