There was once a boy who was said to be good for nothing. No matter how hard he tried, it seemed as though he was certainly good for nothing at all. He wasn't good at playing ball. He wasn't good at solving puzzles. He wasn't good at singing. He wasn't good at dancing. He wasn't even good at school!
To add to this sad plight, the bullies teased him even more for two things: first, that he had no name; and second, that he had no father. Not that he still had a mother, for she has vanished a long time ago. But at least, it can be said, that he had some memories of her. Sometimes, he could even recall his mother's voice: soft and gentle, warm as a happy and sunny day.
These days, however, those memories have become so far away he could barely convince himself they were even real. Was he merely imagining things? Did he really have a mother? And if he did, has she vanished because she thought he was good for nothing?
Whenever the boy would have such thoughts, he’d be seen dashing towards an old tree-house at the back of his school. There, he’d pour out his heart without anyone judging him. There, only the fireflies sometimes gathered to witness his deepest griefs.
It was one of those evenings when he noticed a single firefly that seemed far more interested in him than the rest. In fact, this firefly was so interested to know him that it talked!
"Why are you crying?" asked the firefly as it approached his left ear.
At first, the boy did not understand what the firefly was saying because he got tickled as it touched his ear. But the firefly was persistent. It was the persistence of someone who wanted to be your friend.
“Because I don’t have a name,” the boy finally replied.
To this, the firefly was amazed. For how could anyone be without a name? Why...even fireflies like him have one!
“But how could you have no name? What did your mother call you?”
“I–I don’t remember. I–can’t remember much–before that day,” the boy answered in between sobs.
“What day?” asked the firefly.
“That day. The day mother left,” the boy said, almost in a whisper.
At this point, you may be wondering why the boy isn’t even amazed at a talking firefly. For the sake of clarity, let it be known that this boy lives in a world that is quite different from your own. It is in many respects, quite the same also, but it is quite different in many things. In this world, there are fireflies that can talk, there are flowers that can dance, and there are mysteries that cannot be understood by those who refuse to have an open heart.
But to go back to the boy and the firefly, one could have easily observed a bond being made between two unlikely fellows. For some inexplicable reason, the firefly was drawn to the boy without a name, and the boy was drawn to the firefly who just tickled his ear.
“If you have no name, how could you go to school?” asked the firefly.
“After Mother left, I was taken in by some people who take care of boys without mothers or fathers. They were the ones who took me to school. At school, I was allowed to draw a star instead of my name,” the boy replied.
The boy nodded in response.
“Then that explains it!” the firefly exclaimed.
“Explains what?” asked the boy.
“We’re not so different after all,” the firefly said. “You and I, we’re both like stars!”
At this, the boy finally began to smile.