The Net

by Timothy

Twelve year old Byan ran out the back door into the early morning Saturday heat. The screen door to his parents home slammed with a bang. His mother called: "Screen doors aren't cheap to fix!" she hollered shaking her head with a smile.

With a blue ball cap to protect his head from the summer's heat, Byan had with him; attached to his brown leather belt his wooden collection cage. In his sweaty right hand he held his insect net. There was a school science project coming up. Byan didn't want to hurt anything but he thought, "Bugs are plentiful and God gave us control over all creatures; such said the Pastor at last Sunday service.

Still, Byan tried to show compassion toward things. Except spiders. If one was on his bedroom wall, he would get his: Nascar Magazine and smash the spider to a fine red stain on the wall. Sometimes, the legs were the only things left and they would still be wiggling.

Byan was told from a friend from India people keep coming back in different forms till they achieve higher form of being and thought. Or something like that. Byan didn't put much credence into it. A spider on his wall is a spider.

Out near Ivor's Pound, Byan looked for a huge Dragonfly. He saw a few but they were small. Seeing one large one with a white looking head and long ears Byan ran for it waving his net. He fell down into the muddy ground. Getting up, a shadow came over him. "You ok?" Putting a hand over his eyes to block the sun light, Byan saw a girl with long brown hair who looked to be his age staring down at him.

Getting up and wipping the dirt from his knees he told her, "Oh sure."

The girl's face went sad and pale. I hope you won't hurt what you were trying to catch.

Bryan showing the girl proudly his net told her, "See here, this white meshing? Its nylon. Its real soft. Feel it." The girl backed away. "Don't be scared. Its real soft. I want to show you how safe it is."

The girl ran her delicate and rather long fingers over the white meshing. It's soft. She smiled shyly. There soft like your brown eyes; that seem friendly."

Byan's face turned red. He noticed something go by his sandled foot. It was a big toad. Bryan started to stoop down. And slowly started to reach for it. The toad aware of his presence hopped into some tall grass. "Please Bryan let it be," she pleaded.

"Chill. I won't hurt it. I'm an expert hunter."

"Hunter," said the girl with concern in her voice. She watched Bryan who was on all fours vanish into the tall Cat-and-Nine Tails. Her face began to brightened up when Bryan re-ermerged with an empty net and box.

With a happy sigh in her voice she told Bryan, "Well, I guess that one got away from the great hunter."

"Not really," said Byan with a grin. Reaching into the back pocket of his denim jeans pulled out the toad.

"Poor thing," she said."

"Why?" asked Bryan.

"Well, how would you like a giant creature to come and stuff you in his back pocket?"

"Oh I see," Ryan spoke. My jeans are clean. And my underwear too.

The girl blushed. "I didn't mean that."

Bryan scratched the back of his head and said, "Besides, I would be a good master."

"I had a trained mouse I let sleep in the covers of my bed. Well, not til mom heard of it."

"Scary for the mouse," said the girl.

"I don't think so. I' m much bigger than my mouse whose name was Guy. And it was safe with me."

"What happened to Guy? asked the girl.

Bryan went a little sad, "It got old and died." Bryan sat down on a rock. And placed his net down next to him. "It sounds strange. But for a day I kept it in my pants pocket while I was at school. I thought the heat from my body and love would revive it. I mean, we are taught human love is so special. I expected to start to feel it moving and come out and lick my finger. But it never did. So after school, alone, I placed it in a match box and wrapped it with a favorite sock of mine. Strange huh?"

"No it sounds so sweet." The girl started to weep.

"Hey its a nice story but nothing to brake up about," replied Bryan trying to console the girl.

"No its not that. Its-its. I'm so lonely."

"Hey," said Bryan who at first found it hard to wipe the girl's eyes. "Your not alone. You know me."

"Do I?" She picked up the net and handed it to Ryan. "Do as you will." She ran off.

Feeling sad Bryan left Ivor's Pond. He met up with Nathan a pal and stopped off to have a hamburger at: Jason's Jumping Beef."

After lunch Bryan figured he better finish what he had set out to do. He said goodbye to his pal. He went back to Ivor's Pond. There were several other kids there with nets. Some tried to catch butterflies and dragon flies with their lunch boxes. 'Idiots," thought Bryan. "Thats no way to catch something. Unless you want to kill or damage it."................

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Net: Contiuied.... Bryan saw many kids trying to catch dragonflies. "I hope they don't catch the one I saw," thought Bryan to himself. Many had some that fluttered madly in the net. Others flew aimlessly in the cages some kids brought. Others just placed the living creature down their pockets.

With net in hand Bryan to his joy. A joy that expressed itself in a smile, that large Dragonfly with the white head and long ears light gray ears on a rock near the shoreline. Bryan walked slowly over. He slowly lifted his net. A strange energy bolted through his being given all his senses special abilities. Comong right down behind it Bryan stooped. With heart pounding his net came crashing yet silently down with an expertise on the huge dragonfly.

The insect aware of capture fluttered its great wings in anguish. Holding the opening tight with his hands, Bryan brought the creature up to his face. "Don't flutter like that. You will only damage your beautiful wings." The Dragonfly stopped. Bryan knew what he had in store for the Dragonfly. But a sharp needle placed in a pre-defined area in its belly will end its suffering.

With his free hand Bryan opened his wooden collection box. Then with great care he opened the top of the net. He gathered the Dragonfly in his hand. He was surprised ito find it gave no fight. It just stood still in his huge palm. Almost trusting. Bryan placed it in his box which had a few fresh leaves and sugar a couple of sugar cubes. Bryan for a short while looked for that girl.

With pride of a job well done Bryan went home.

During the evening he studied the Dragonfly. Its eyes had a dark brwonish tint. It seemed not to be made up of many parts. The top of the dragonsfly had had wisps of thin brown like hair. The insect just stared at him. It did start to flutter its beautiful wings that kind of had to Bryan a sad and forlorn sound.

Bryan took a big chance. He opened the door to his cage. And slid in three fingers. The Dragonfly crawled onto his hand. It tickled. It moved its head in fast jerky movements. Turning around on Bryan's hand, he thought it was about to take off. He had his other hand ready to catch it if it did. Instead, it fluttered its bi-wings. The sound wasn't sad or lonely.

"Lonely?" said Bryan to himself and the Dragonfly. Bringing his hand up to his face the wings tickled his nose.

Very gently Bryan stroked it between the wings. I don't know if you understand or not. But I won't use you for the science project. I will figure on something else.

From then on, Bryan let the Dragonfly fly loose in his bedroom room. Bryan made sure no spider webs were around hidden. At night. The dragonfly slept on Bryan's pillow. And on hot nights cooled Bryan's face with its wings.