Spoiler Alert – Read “Darby is Home” first, followed by “A Fancifull Celebration“.

Darby is learning it is very hard to keep a secret… a secret about himself. He’s afraid his friends will not like him and make fun of him if he tells them why he always has homework to do in the evening after dinner. He says he’s in his last years of school and needs to do his best so he can go to university and study business finance.

Darby is not being entirely truthful with his friends. He does want to go to university. That’s true and he studies very hard to get good grades in school, not just to be able to go to get into a good university, but also to KNOW something once he gets there. Darby is a very smart dragonfly with a very common phobia. He studies at night so he won’t be outside past dark. This is because Darby is afraid of the dark.

Nobody knows. He’s been able to hide if from his cousin, Delta, His kinda’ girlfriend – Dixie, and even his Mom and Dad and little sister, Darla, don’t know. Everyone thinks he’s strong and brave but he doesn’t think he is because only little dragonflies are afraid of the dark, and that’s only sometimes. Darby isn’t little anymore but he is afraid and doesn’t know what to do about it.

This past summer, Darby flew to a military base with his friend, Dash. Dash is now a military drone. He was on leave one day and came down to Oh Valley with a colleague and buddy of his, Driscoll. All day, while the three of them were racing and eating ice cream and having fun, Dash and Driscoll told Darby about places they’d flown to. These places seemed to be so much more exciting than where he was every day – school.

Dash is a bit older than Darby and they lost touch while Dash was completing his education and military training…. To be a military drone, you have to be an officer. To be an officer requires that you complete a degree of study at university. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a degree in avionics or aeronautics though either would prove useful. A university degree in any field will suffice to prove that your mind is capable of learning the tough stuff you would have to learn to be a military drone.

Darby really likes the idea of keeping his country safe and he loves to fly in daylight, the quicker the better. He decides he needs to seek some advise from Dash.

As luck would have it, Dash was in Oh Valley. He was grounded until they could fix his on-board camera that would not focus properly. He dropped it off and came home to have a short visit with everyone. Darby said he wanted to talk privately with Dash about something very important – No kidding.

They slipped away and headed to the Mighty Oh River where they hovered for a heart to heart – a real, important, conversation.

Darby didn’t know where to begin. He’d been hiding his phobia for so long. Might as well get it over with… like pulling a bandage off quickly. He told Dash that he wants to be a military drone just like Dash but also told him why he didn’t think he could be. He said that he, Darby MacIntyre Dragonfly, was afraid of the dark. Darby couldn’t see how he could preform his duties satisfactorily if only flying when the sun is up. Weren’t a large part of their duties done in ‘stealth’ mode which works triply better at night?

Instead of making fun of Darby, Dash hovered there for a minute or two. It seemed like a very long time to Darby. Maybe it wasn’t that long but it sure seemed like it was. Could Dash help him? Then Dash spoke, “Have you ever flown at night, Darby?”

“Never. I go inside as soon as the sun has set before it gets really dark out. ” came Darby’s very quiet reply. He was so embarrassed.

Dash looked Darby in the eyes, “I promise to keep you AND your secret safe. OK? I want you to see something, something that I think will help you. Do you trust me?”

“Yes. I told you my secret, right? I couldn’t have done that if I didn’t trust you”

“Sure enough. I’d like to help you with your fear of the dark. I would like us to fly to the edges of Oh Valley just as the sun is setting.”


“I’ve never let you down before and I won’t now. Trust me Darby.”

Darby was very nervous as he flew with his friend Dash to the edge of Oh Valley. When they got there, the sun had set and at first he thought the sky was dark. Then he saw the blinking lights of Crazywort in the distance. Cool! He could see the lights of another town. Dash said it was Waterville, where Darby’s friend, Bradley lives. Darby could see bits of light above him too. Those, Dash said were stars and that in his military training he learned how to navigate and get where he’s going by seeing where each star hangs out in the sky. There have been a few times when he’s had to rely on his training because his on-board electronic systems were doing their own little dance and not helping him fly just like his camera was doing and the reason for his leave being granted.

Dash said that tonight the sky was actually quite dark because there was a ‘New’ moon which meant that it was not shining on Oh Valley and rest of the world like it does most nights.

Darby had no idea there was actually this much light at night. Dragonflies have very good vision. He could see almost as clearly at night as he could during the day. He was so happy he wanted to fly over to Crazywort and check out the Dettledag plant in the Community Garden right now! He’d only heard about the Dettledag plant when everyone returned home. He didn’t see it because he wanted to get home well before dark – “and study.” He and Dash flew to Crazywort to see the white flower that were still popping from the Crazywort… er…. Deetledag plant although the leaves had changed back to green from their celebratory blue.

Dash and Darby flew around well into the wee hours of the night. By the time they arrived home, Darby wasn’t afraid to fly at night anymore. It wasn’t nearly as dark as his imagination made him think it would be. Darby also wondered if the fear of other Fancifulls finding out that he was afraid of the dark made it all seem worse… like a big mountain of fear too high to fly over. What do you think? Could Darby’s fear have grown because of the imagined expectations he thought everyone had of him?

Darby’s one pretty smart dragonfly, isn’t he? I think he’ll make a fine military drone one day. For now, he needs to get some sleep. He doesn’t want to miss school in the morning. He has so much to learn about LIGHT, especially Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) – and maybe lasers! The possibilities are endless!!!

As Dash and Darby parted for their own homes, Dash called to Darby, “You, Darby, can be my ‘wing man’ anytime.”

To which cheeky Darby responded, ‘You can be MY wing man anytime!”

Don’t let anything stop you from reaching your full potential.

Sue, Axie and The Fancifulls

(Thank you to Darby and Lilly, my new (human) neighbours, for inspiring me.)

Two Posts in one day may not be a good thing. Hopefully I remember to post this tomorrow morning as I head out to set up for the Harvestival – That’s what I think it should be called, NO? Maybe I’ll see you there. Remember, You can have your own Darby and tomorrow is the last day you will find them at $10.00 each. Around $15 at all locations after tomorrow. Don’t miss out. They make wonderful stocking stuffers. Ask me for a red ribbon if you purchase DELTA.

(( Guess what? I remembered to POST!))