Little friends, I would like to tell you about a frog and a fly. I believe you will be interested to hear the wonderful things I shall tell you about these two little creatures. There are many, many kinds of flies but the one about which we shall talk today is the most beautiful of all the flies I have seen. The French people call it "the young lady of the insect world" because it has such beautiful colors and is so graceful in its movements. It is large and long and its body has a brilliant metallic luster combining all the colors of the rainbow. It loves the sunshine. I wonder if you can guess now the fly about which I am talking. I am sure you have seen it around rivers and ponds and lakes. It darts about very rapidly and is so alert and swift that it is almost impossible to catch it. Boys and girls sometimes catch these flies in nets, but it is very difficult to do so. It rests on your hat for a moment; then it is out on the fishing rod and lights on the string until a fish pulls on the hook and frightens it away. Then it is back on your hat again—and then away it goes. It is so restless that it never stays in one place, but it has a very happy time flying around in this new world into which it has come. I am sure you have guessed by this time that I am talking about the dragon fly. It is also called a "snake doctor" by some people.
Children, the dragon fly did not always live in the air and the sunshine. It lived in another world—a world of mud down at the bottom of a lake or a pond. It was a very ugly creature then and is called a grub. It crawled about hunting for things to eat such as insects and bugs. These baby grubs are cannibals. They eat one another. Isn't it terrible! After they are changed into the beautiful creatures you see flying about in the sunshine, they do not eat one another. When people live in wicked places and do sinful things, they mistreat other people and do not act as they should. If they would only trust the Lord Jesus and let Him save them, then they would be changed and would not do sinful things. They would have an experience something like the dragon fly about which I want to tell you.
I think this story happened in Bugland. I was not there to hear it, but I want you to hear it because you will learn a wonderful lesson from it.
Three baby grubs, Jimmy, Cecil and Percy, lived in the mud. They were having a family meeting around the little pebble which was their dining table. Percy said, "Say, kids, I have been told that there is another world into which we go when we leave this mud, but I don't believe a word of it. What do you think?"
The other two replied, "We don't believe it, either. We never saw it. Our daddy and mother never told us about it. Nobody ever came back from there to tell us what they found."
Just then there was a terrible splash, mud flew everywhere, and who should come into their midst but Old Greenie, the bullfrog. How impolite to break into the family circle! Jimmy said, "Where have you been, Greenie?"
Greenie whispered, "Don't tell anybody, but I have been out in another world. It is a wonderful world. The plants are so large that it takes me a long time to hop around one of them. There isn't any water or mud out there and the ground is green instead of black. There is warm sunshine, fresh air and beautiful flowers."
The three baby grubs looked at each other and tapped their heads as if to say, "Poor Greenie is out of his head. We'd better call the doctor."
Old Greenie said, "I knew you would not believe it. But I have been out there and have seen it. I know what I am talking about. How would you like to go and see it with me?"
Percy, the largest of the three, said, "I will go. I want to see it."
Greenie said, "All right. You jump on my back and I'll take you there and bring you back."
Percy crawled on Greenie's back. Jimmy and Cecil said, "Goodbye! We hope you will come back, but we are afraid that you will not."
Greenie hopped along under the water through the mud until he reached the bank. Then he slowly came out of the water, but when Percy Grub left the water, he could not breathe. You see, he was made to live under the water like a fish, and so he gasped for breath, fainted dead away and fell back into the water. He had a headache and he hurt his leg a little when he fell off, and so he came limping back to Jimmy and Cecil. Holding one hand on his head, he said, "Nobody can live out in that world, I am telling you. Old Greenie Frog went somewhere, but nobody can live out there. I'm sure of that."
Greenie Frog did not come back to this little family of grubs. He went off somewhere else to play and so they thought he had died. After a number of days, Percy said, "Boys, I feel so funny in my back. I don't know what is going to happen, but I feel as if I'm going somewhere." So he started to crawl up one of the bulrushes. The others came crying around him and said, "Percy, you cannot go away from us!"
But he said, "Yes, I must go. I have a funny feeling inside."
They said, "Percy, will you come back and tell us about the other world you may find out there?"
Percy said, "I certainly will. I give you my word, if there is really another world, I will come back and tell you all about it." So they told him "Good-bye" and he crawled to the top of the water. He came out of the water just a little way. He felt queer and dizzy, and then suddenly he felt something bursting loose on his back. What do you think? The shell burst and out came the beautiful dragon fly! Oh, it was pretty! It had such beautiful colors, such transparent wings, such delicate little legs! Percy felt wonderful. He flew away to enjoy this world and the new life.
That evening when Percy went to sleep he remembered that he had promised his two brothers in the mud that he would come back and tell them about the new world if he found it. He did not sleep well that night. He rolled and tossed and could hardly wait for the sun to rise so that he could go back and tell Jimmy and Cecil all about it. As soon as the sun was up, Percy flew into the air, folded his wings, and dived headfirst into the pond to tell his brothers what had happened to him. But do you know, children, when his head hit the water, the blow knocked him unconscious and he lay helpless on the water. After awhile he revived and exclaimed, "I don't know what happened!" He thought he did not go high enough when he dived, and so he went higher and dived again. This time he was nearly killed when he hit the water. Again, quivering and faint, he lay on the water until he recovered. Then off he flew and said, "I tried to go back and I wanted to keep my promise but I am changed and I cannot go back. I do hope they won't think I did not tell them the truth. I did try to go back but could not."
Cecil and Jimmy waited for Percy to return. Finally they said, "We knew there was not another world out there because if there had been, Percy would surely have come back and told us. He said he would." So they concluded that the life they lived in the mud was the only life.
My little friends, some people are just as foolish as these dragon flies. They do not believe that there is another life after death simply because they haven't been there or because nobody has come back to tell them about it. They do not believe what God says about it in His Word, the Bible. Jesus said, "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (John 5:40). Don't be like that. Come to Him and He will give you eternal life, for "he that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (I John 5:12). Little friends, accept the Lord Jesus and He will save your souls.
From Uncle Walter's Animal Stories by Walter L. Wilson. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, ©1945.