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fanny fly.

From The suns babies by Edith Howes.
Age Rating 2 to 4.

Start of Story

Rover the dog left a bone only half cleaned under the fence, and forgot to go for it again, so Mrs. Fly laid her eggs on it. In a day or two the eggs hatched out into tiny white creatures with no legs. They ate hard for a few days at the meat left on the bone, and then settled down and kept still while they changed into flies. When they broke their way out of their old skins you would hardly believe they had once been white and helpless, for now they were dark in colour, with wings that gleamed as they moved, and wonderful eyes and feelers and legs. Fanny Fly was one of them. She was a beauty. Her eyes were big and red-brown in colour, and so wonderfully made that she could see behind her just as well as in front. From each side of her chest two fine wings sprang out, gleaming with green and red; under them were her two balancers. On her back she wore a shining purple cloak. She had six legs, all jointed so that she could bend them in any direction, and all furnished with the most wonderful things, claws and suckers for holding on to the roof, and tiny combs and brushes for keeping herself neat and clean. She flew first to the garden and sucked honey with her short tongue from any flowers that were not too deep. Then through an open window she flew into the house. "Here I shall have a good time," she said; and a good time she certainly did have. She melted sugar in the basin with the juice from her mouth, so that she could suck it up; she sipped honey and treacle from the jars in the pantry that were left uncovered for even a moment; she stood on the meat and sucked juices out of that. Nothing came amiss to her. Whatever was there became food to her, so she was always fat and happy.

She played with the other flies on the window-panes and across the ceiling; they all danced in the air and buzzed till they were tired. She had many narrow escapes--from spiders in dark corners, from dusters, and from small boys who wished to catch her. Once she was nearly drowned in a dish of jam. On the whole, however, she had a very good time. But the summer drew to an end, and the winter came. "I must find a snug corner, or I shall die of cold," said Fanny Fly. She looked for a hiding place in the house, but the best corners had all been taken by other flies; so she slipped out through the window and crawled into a clump of grass roots and stalks under the hedge. There she went to sleep till the warm days came again.


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