The Fireflies and the Goblins had always been good friends, just as they were with the Fairies, until one night when the Goblins held a frolic in the woods and did not invite the Fireflies to come.
It was a bright moonlight night, and the Goblins, who did not think much about anyone or anything if it did not in some way help them, knew they would not need the Fireflies’ lanterns, so they did not bother to send them an invitation.
When the moon was high up in the sky so it shone down on all the trees in the woods, making it almost like daylight, the Goblins came tumbling out of their rocks and began their frolic.
They tumbled and they played such antics in the moonlight that anyone who did not know who they were and had seen them would surely have thought them a lot of crazy little creatures.
Of course, the Fireflies came flying along, and when they saw what was going on they began asking one another if anyone had received an invitation.
“It is plain to be seen why they did not invite us,” said one old Firefly. “They did not need us because the moon is shining.”
“That shows us what their friendship is worth,” said another. “If they need our lights, they invite us; if not, we are forgotten.”
For a few minutes all the Fireflies flashed with anger and then the old Firefly said. “I think we can have revenge if all of you will do as I tell you, and if I am not much mistaken those Goblin fellows will remember us the next time they have a frolic, even if they do not need us.”
All the Fireflies wanted to know what the old Firefly had in his mind, but not a word would he tell them about his plan until they ran about and called together all the Fireflies for miles and miles around.
Of course, it did not take those sprightly little creatures long to fly miles and miles, and pretty soon in one corner of the woods were gathered together thousands of Fireflies.
“My plan is this,” said the old Firefly when they were all there, “the Goblins are to go sailing on the lily pads after the frolic and we will go around to all the rocks and alight on all of them, for that is where they live, and when they return from their sail they will think their homes are on fire.
“Shine as brightly as you can, every one of you, and don’t wink or blink, so the Goblins will not suspect us. They will have a good fright, if nothing else.”
Away went the Fireflies in groups of thousands, and pretty soon all the rocks in the woods were covered; but not until the Goblins returned from their moonlight sail did the Fireflies let their bright lights be seen.
The Goblins stopped every one when they reached the woods, for all the rocks were a blaze of light. “Oh, our homes!” they all cried; “someone has set them on fire. What shall we do?”
Hither and thither like little bees they flew, but it was no use; they could not enter their homes. They were all on fire.
“Where shall we sleep?” they began to ask one another, for they were all very tired after the frolic.
“We can crawl under the leaves,” said one Goblin, “but we dare not sleep, for if the fairies should find us, no knowing what they would do to us with their wands. We will have to stay awake all night, and in the morning if the fire is out we can crawl into our homes, for, of course, the rocks cannot burn.”
“No, but they can be very hot and burn us,” said another. “Oh dear, I wish we had not gone sailing; perhaps we could have saved our homes.”
So under the leaves they crawled, but not a wink of sleep did those Goblins dare take, and when it was ‘most daylight time the Fireflies put out their lights and silently flew away.
When the Goblins went to their rocks they were surprised to find them all cool and not at all hot as they had expected, and one of the Goblins, putting a pointed little finger on the side of his pointed nose said to the others: “I have a thought, and it is this: The Fireflies were not invited to our frolic and I wonder if they alighted on our rocks for revenge?”
“I wonder,” said the others; but they were all so sleepy they could not think, so in they tumbled and were soon fast asleep; but the next time they gave a frolic the very first thing they did was to invite all the Fireflies, and not one did they forget.