Dolly was a dragonfly and like all other dragonflies, she was always flying. Her six little legs were really her arms, used for hugging, clasping and for other things arms do, but never any good for walking.
One misty day, trouble fell on little Dolly. She struggled with it for hours on end, but just couldn’t make the trouble go away. A heavy box had somehow got caught in her fragile wings, and with each passing minute, seemed to be tightening its iron clasp further and further. There was no way she could fly with it, and no way she could drag it on the earth because she simply did not have legs to walk.
“Oh, bother, bother, bother,” she mumbled with consternation, as she found that her spindly hands holding the little flower stem was slowly slipping away.
That was exactly when her friend, Rosy, the damselfly came zipping by, giggling like she always did. “Ready for a race, sister?”
Even as she held on to dear life, Dolly said, “You make me laugh. Aren’t you always losing, Rosy?”
“So?” asked Rosy, zipping about like the play of starry light.
“Why do you want to race then?” asked Dolly, incredulously, barely holding on now.
“It’s fun, isn’t it? I always thought you might like the winning. It must feel really good, though, right? Like ice cream or something?”
“How does losing feel?” asked Dolly, between whiffs of quick breaths, huffing through her tug on life.
“It’s like getting wet. You just dry yourself and fly again. Nothing to it,” shrugged Rosy, zipping from flower to stem to leaf.
“Why do you bother getting wet then?” asked Dolly dead curious through her tough struggle
“Oh sister, I like you. Just want to spend some time with you. I never think of getting wet at all. By the way, are you gymming right now? Forgive me, but you look kind of funny in that pose you are holding.”
“I am not exercising.”
“Yoga, may be? It’s the new thing, isn’t it? Your winning secret, right?”
“Rosy, don’t you really notice this weight struck around my wings?”
Rosy swirled around Dolly doing a 360 degree flight, and exclaimed, “Sure, you do, sister! Sure you do! But why?”
“Why indeed? I am stuck, Rosy.”
“But that is your own box, right? Just shrug it away.”
“How can anyone shrug away a heavy heart?”
“Just like I shrug away my wetness.”
Dolly was quiet. With great difficulty, she got a stronger hold on the flower stem and pensively watched her friend flying freely about the garden.
“How did you get this heavy heart, by the way?” asked Rosy.
“I didn’t get the apology I wanted,” explained Dolly, her face going really sad.
“Oh, apology? Those fruit growing on the top branches. Forget about them, Dolly. There are plenty of good things to nibble here within reach.”
“It feels terrible not getting it, Rosy. It feels like a big block of ice is caking my insides. I didn’t do anything wrong. So, I absolutely qualify for the apology.”
“It’s true, but you also qualify for fun and games. Why don’t you want those?”
“Don’t you see, Rosy? I have this heavy load to lug around. I can’t even think of fun and games.”
Rosy stopped flying and perched on a flower right next to Dolly. In a sad voice, she said, “You know, Dolly, I like you best of all. It makes me sad that you have set your heart on this apology fruit. I thought you as a really wise person. You do know that it is in a garden we cannot fly to. There’s such a big, thick wall around it. And also I hear when the fruit ripens it is brought to you as if by magic on a silver tray and all. May be, your apology is not ripe yet for you, my dear friend.”
“In some odd way, that makes sense, Rosy.”
“Shall we race then?”
“What about this box tangled in my wings?”
“Oh that? I almost forgot,” giggled Rosy. “My cousin Polly got it once. And she tried all she could, dragged herself on her tail, hit herself hard against tree barks, even invited a mouse to snip it away, but it stayed.”
“You wouldn’t believe it. One day, when the yellow frog with the brown spots on its head jumped at her and slipped, it tickled her so much, she burst out laughing. She laughed a laugh she hadn’t laughed for days. It was a belly laugh, and the load just slipped away. Her heart got so light it just flew back into her, light as a feather. So I hear. You want to try it?”
“But I am not tickled.”
“Let me go get the frog. I hear he had some green on his tail end and with those dots of brown on him, wouldn’t be difficult to find. Hold on till then, my friend.”
Thus saying, she flew with a wave, straight into the bark of the mango tree. Flat went her face against the tree, tickling Dolly so much, she couldn’t stop her laughter. And then, as if by magic, all that Rosy had told, happened. Dolly’s heart floated right back in, light as a breeze.
Seeing this, Rosy forgot the bark marks on her face that she intended to rub away. She stopped and giggled with her friend. “I wouldn’t have to look for that ugly frog after all,” said she, between giggles. “Oh, I am so glad!”