“Maroussia, don’t go too far from the house!”
The little girl shrugged. The old lady was calling to her from the cottage steps, waving her stick like when she rounded up the goats at... [+]
I busied myself with the last of my lunch biting into a dark purple plum then sucking the juiciness, so it wouldn’t land on my yellow tank top. But as always, it did. The water sparkled with sunlight as the dragonflies did their up and down dance from lily pad to lily pad. Moments later the clear opal-like wings and neon blue slender body landed on my chest. This dragonfly seemed different from most. As it batted its wings, I could see her legs were deformed. I knew in the wild the poor thing stood less of a chance. It looked at me, not scared, but tired, and sad from the struggle of life. I knew it needed help. Moving slow and steady to not scare it, I pulled a thread from my tank top hem, made a small loop and hooked the thread around the tail of the dragonfly. She stopped drinking and looked at me in shock.
“No worries. Shh. I will help you,” I whispered smiling.
I thought only kind thoughts, yet, she took flight. The string held her nearby. Soon, she rested on my knee. My titanium prosthetic didn’t seem to bother her. I loved that about her. We had something in common right away. I lead her, sometimes going her way, sometimes my way, to the vet clinic where my mom worked.
“Can we fix her?” I asked.
Mom ran her eyes across the dragonfly that I now called Libelula.
“If Libelula were a mammal, a cat, a dog...but she needs a new leg like yours...and doing that on an insect has never been done. I know it’s 2035, but...”
“Mom, please, mom.”
Mom looked at me and my leg then back to the small broken dragonfly. I saw Libelula’s eye grow wide with fear, then understanding as she watched the two of us. She lifted her head in courage her eyes steady on my mother’s eyes.
“It will be risky,” Mom said. Libelula nodded. Mom looked again at me trying not to show that she was looking at my titanium. “Okay then, let’s try, brave one.”
A few days later our home buzzed. My pet dragonfly Libelula’s titanium leg matched mine. I was so proud of her. She was the first insect to every receive a titanium leg and she adapted to it faster than I did to mine. Each night, she climbed on my shoulder and watched over me as I ran in my dreams. She was the best pet I could ever hope for. We’d make our way to the pond every day. It wasn’t too long before I didn’t need a leash. Libelula and I, we were tied by heartstrings.