by Jeff Baker
“Mooooom! The TV.’s out again!” Perry said.
“What do you mean ‘out?’” Mom said.
“Bunch of squiggly lines.” Perry said.
“Can’t see TV!” Perry’s little brother whined.
“Perry, go out and see what the problem is,” Dad said.
“Aw, I went last time. It’s Marco’s turn.” Perry said.
“Your Brother is upstairs doing his homework,” Mom said. “So it’s your turn again.”
Perry sighed and walked out into the backyard. The evening was cool but nice. He could see the trees in the dim light from the house. He backed into the yard slowly, looking at the house and the roof which was in deep shadow.
And in the shadow, something moved.
It was at the north end of the roof which hung over where they kept the trash cans, where the big, tall TV antenna was fastened to the house, standing taller than the trees.
Perry’s eyes adjusted to the dark. Yes, there it was. A huge moth perched on the top of the antenna. He could just make out the silvery tint of its transparent wings. It was about the size of an eagle he’d seen once.
Perry remembered what he’d learned in school; the moths absorbed energy and were known to swarm around power plants after dusk. They also liked to absorb radio and TV signals, especially around standing antennas. Presumably they could do it in flight but they seemed to like to perch on the metal. It had been speculated that this was some sort of delicacy to them.
Perry sighed again. He couldn’t wave his arms and yell, the moth wouldn’t care. Water from the hose wouldn’t do it either. Last time they had moths he’d shaken the antenna; his folks were afraid he’d shake it loose.
He had an idea.
Perry ran back inside and rummaged under the sink. He came back with his Granddad’s old solar-energy flashlight, stood under the antenna, turned it on and aimed the beam at the moth. They didn’t like sunlight and this was close.
The moth fluttered and edged around, moving to where the edge of the roof blocked the flashlight beam. Perry moved to where he could see the moth and shone the light on it again. After a moment, the moth waved its wings and gracefully ascended to the sky. Perry stood there staring, he’d never seen anything so beautiful. Like an angel in black and white.
He stood there for a minute after the moth had gone, ignoring the excited calls of his younger brother that the TV was back on. After another minute, he switched the flashlight off and went back inside.