Once upon a time, there was a tiny little star with a beautiful name: Lampyria. It glowed in the sky and you would be excused for thinking it was simply one of the millions up there. Like all of them, it twinkled into existence every evening as soon as the light gave in to the darkness.
Unfortunately, all the other stars were too distant to reach, they were silent and cold. Lampyria tried to get their attention but nobody would answer her calls. She felt abandoned.
She did notice she was unique though. While the other stars were incredibly slow, always dragging along the same boring pathways, she could hardly ever stop moving. In fact she had a pair of little wings and she flew about here and there relentlessly.
Now and then she witnessed some of the other stars falling down, leaving a streak across the sky. She speculated that perhaps they lacked wings, and in reality there was some truth to her theory.
But events like that deepened her sadness even more. Lampyria thought it was ironic to be among dazzling stars, and yet so dreadfully alone.
Then, it was a lovely summer evening, she saw a peculiar star that... danced! It was right above the horizon, between the tall grass blades. Stunned by surprise, it was our little starlet that froze solid this time... Wow! Was it real, or just another of those dreams she did not want to wake from?
Another little moving speck appeared not far from the first one, and then still another, a bit higher. In a few wingbeats there were thousands of them, a real cloud of tiny amber dots cavorting in the darkness. They came closer and closer, finally enveloping Lampyria with their chaotic, friendly buzz.
The ancient stars continued to shine indifferently in the sky but Lampyria did not think about them any more. Our starlet was united with her own kind. She felt happy and safe, and she did not leave her swarm ever since. Over time, her earlier loneliness became a distant memory.
Still, sometimes, she found it eerily pleasant to recall the past. It occurred to her it may have been the chilling experience that taught her how to recognize happiness once she encountered it.
A short fable conceived one evening when my little son asked me to tell him a new fairy tale.
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