Fire

The day was sunny and bright, like his mood. He grabbed his favorite toy, the firetruck with the ladder on it. He shuffled it around, this way and that, making the noises as he went. He was in his own little world, just playing there by the roadside.

There was an orange mushroom growing there in the grass. It was bright and soft. He pretended it was on fire. He had the firetruck put the fire out, and then he picked the mushroom and threw it in the taller grass, away from his little world. He didn’t see the beetle come out of the mushroom until it was on his firetruck, yelling, “Hey! That was my home!”

He looked down at the beetle. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I didn’t know. I thought it was on fire.”

The beetle looked indignant. “You put the fire out with your fire truck, so it was fine. Now I have to go and build a new home, and that will take ages.” The beetle threw his arms in the air, aghast.

He smiled, “I could help you if you wanted.”

The beetle looked at him suspiciously. “Help me? You could’ve helped me by not ruining my home!”

“I’m sorry, really. I didn’t know. But I would like to help you, to, um, make it right.” The little boy smiled an enthusiastic smile. “We can make it better than your last home.”

“Better?” The beetle scoffed. “Better would be giving up your home. Better would be soft cushiony blankets and sweet things to eat.”

The little boy smiled, jubilant. “But I don’t use my bed, so you could have it. And I can bring you extra chocolate chips if I remember to.”

The beetle smiled. “Really? You’d help me out like that?”

The little boy laughed, “Of course, silly. You’re like my best friend now. Hop on and I’ll take you inside.”

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