That was me who made that statement about
"Mom, what is that?"
"Why those are fairies."
"Awwww Mom, come on.."
She proceeded to tell me the story of how in the old days, people really thought the lightning bugs were fairies. In the low evening light, all you can really see is the light, a small body and the fluttering of wings. They believed if you caught them you would have good luck.
"Mom can I have a jar? I wanna catch some!"
So off she went to get an old mayo jar, and Jimbo poked holes in the lid for me. Off I went! I think I managed to collect about 5.
"Now what do I do with them, Mom?"
"Well if you keep them in the jar to long they will die."
I think this was my first real experience of having something that could die. I know I didn't even truely understand death, but I knew I didn't want the "fairies" to die.
I took them in my room for a bit, I turned the light out,then sat and watched them.
After a bit I took the jar outside and released the fairies.
Later that spring I saw my cousins David and Eddie and couldn't wait to share my new found knowledge with them. They being boys and older than me, thought it was a stupid story and proceeded to show me that evening how to make rings out of them by smashing them on your finger.. I was horrified..
The excitement of seeing lightning bugs is still there to this day. I walk 2 miles almost every night and the last week or so the fairies have been out doing their fairy business. I still hollar out, "Look at the fairies!"
I didn't even realize until now, that I didn't see them in Florida. Must be to humid and hot for them, maybe it frizzes their hair..