The Light of the Fly (Philippine Folk Tale)

The firefly abounds everywhere in the Islands.


The King of the Air was in terrible rage,

For some one had stolen his ring;

And every one wondered whoever could dare

To do such a terrible thing.

He called all his subjects together and said,

“To him that shall find it I'll give

Whatever he asks, and this bounty of mine

Shall last while his family live.”


Away went his good loyal subjects to search,

And no one remained but a fly.

“Be off!” said the King, “go and join in the search;

Would you slight such a ruler as I?”

Then up spoke the fly with his little wee voice:

“The ring is not stolen,” he said.

“It stuck to your crown when you put it away,

And now it”s on top of your head.”


The King in surprise took the crown from his head,

And there, sure enough, was the ring.

“No wonder you saw it, with so many eyes;

But what is your wish?” said the King.

“O King,” said the fly, “I work hard all the day,

And I never can go out at night.

I should like to go then and be gay with my friends,

So all that I wish is a light.”


“You shall have it at once,” said the gratified King,

And he fastened a light to the fly,

Who straightway returned to his home with the prize

That was worth more than money could buy.

So now you can see him at night with his light

And from him this lesson may learn:

To keep your eyes open and see the least thing,

And Fortune will come in its turn.

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