Monday, February 11, 2008

Dragonfly - A Short Story By Jim Duce

On a bright summer day two brothers were walking through the woods. As they moved through the dappled sunlight they carried on a conversation not unlike most conversations they habitually conducted between one another. It went something like this:

“Oh yeah?”


“Well, you don’t know beans.”

“Says who?”


“Oh yeah?”


“Wise guy, eh?”

The first older but slightly smaller brother stopped walking, picked up a hefty piece of dead fall and was about to pummel his sibling over the head when he suddenly noticed a dragonfly trapped in a large drop of sap on a nearby tree limb.

Now everybody knows that dragonflies are mythical creatures capable of granting wishes should they be in a charitable mood. Thus encouraged the older brother dropped his weapon, indicated the trapped dragonfly with a pointed finger, and the two brothers ambled over to the tree for a closer look.

“Don’t just stand there with your bare faces hanging out,” the dragonfly said. “Get me outta this mess.”

“Will you grant us a wish if we do?” the second brother asked.

“I’ll think about it,” the dragonfly promised. “Now hop to it, fellas. Chop! Chop!”

Soon the dragonfly was free of the tree sap. He sat on the branch slowly flapping his wings to dry them off in the gentle breeze.

“So?” the first brother inquired.

“What?” the dragonfly said, preoccupied with removing one last drop of sticky sap from his antennae.

“The um, I was wondering about the, ah, the wish…yeah, you know, the wish?”

“Oh right. I clean forgot,” the dragonfly said. “What the heck. Wish away, cowboy. Knock yourself out.”

“Well,” the first brother said. “I want to be the smartest man in the world.”

“Good wish,” the dragonfly said.


The first brother was now the smartest man in the world. He looked at his sibling and laughed.

The second brother who was entertaining thoughts of maybe asking to be the richest man in the world or having the best haircut in the world suddenly changed his mind.

“Hey wait a minute!” he demanded of the dragonfly. “It's my turn to make a wish?”

“Wish away,” the dragonfly said.

“I wanna be smarter than the smartest man in the world,” the second brother said, all the while smirking at his brother.

“You are absolutely sure of that?” the dragonfly asked.

“Yeah, darn right.”

“Okay buddy,” the dragonfly said. “If you are sure, you got it.”


The second brother turned into a woman.

This tale has been told many different times by many different people. It is not the author's original material. The opinions presented in this article do not necessarily represent those of the author nor do they represent the views taken by the author’s male buddies, the author’s male cat, or the author’s male dogs.

Any similarity between persons or dragonflies living or dead is purely coincidental.