Once there lived a housefly who did not know who she was. She would fly, flit, buzz and whiz and was anxious to know who she was. She wouldn’t mix with any other creatures as she feared the question “Who are you?” She was sad. She never made any friends. She had asked her mother several times about this and her mother gave the same reply.
“I myself do not know who I am. How will I tell you who you are?”
“How can someone not know who she is?” – was her big question.
One day while she sat on a pile of rubbish she saw a cockroach. She mustered enough courage and asked the creature, “Do you know who you are?”
“Yes. I do.” – I belong to the roach family. I am called the roach. I am the indomitable ‘cockroach’. Nobody can exterminate me. Who are you? – He added.
This is what she feared. “I do not know. My mother herself does not know.” –She said sadly.
“Ha, Ha” laughed the cockroach. “How can you not know who you are? Isn’t it a shame?”
Whenever she went around hunting for food she would meet a number of creatures, big and small and they all knew who they were. They even had personal names. Dogs were called ‘Samson, Snoopy, Snowy, Foxy, Queeny, Goofy, Petsy etc. Cats were called “Ronnie, Pussy, Wispy, etc. “Why don’t I have a name? – She would wallow in self pity.
She made a decision. She would find out her name ‘come what may’. She would not return home without finding her name. She told her mother. “Mom, I will not return until I find ‘who I am’. Do not look for me. Just because you did not name me, it does not mean that I do not have a name. I will come back to you only if I find my name.” She fluffed up her wings and set out.
“Who do I ask?” – She thought aloud.
“Did you say something? – Asked a sparrow who just flew past her.
“Yes. I did. I want to know who I am. Do you know who you are?”- She asked shyly.
“Yes, I do. I am the sparrow. It’s funny that you do not know who you are!” –He sneered. Go find it from the duck that lives in the pond.” –She knows everything. – The sparrow flew away.
“Sparrow… the fly said to herself and flew away.
“The duck, the duck, I must find her.” – She flew, flew and found the pond.
“Dear little ducky…yes, ducky…can you tell me who I am?
“Who are you? Where are you? I can’t even see you. Are you so tiny?”- The duck looked all around.
“Yes. I am tiny. I am here, on you; on your fluffy feathers. Can you not feel me? Can you tell me who I am?” – She pleaded.
“Get off me, you little creature! I keep myself clean in the pond. Do not sit on me.” – She swirled and fluttered her wings and swam, and the fly flew behind her. The duck looked back at her and said again, “You, you are always found on rubbish heaps. That’s all I know about you. You can call yourself ‘Rubbish’. – She said rudely and swam away.
The fly was hurt. She felt sad and as she was about to fly away, the duck said, “Why don’t you ask the Pussy sitting on the park bench? That lazy lubber has nothing much to do. May be he knows who you are.
The housefly flew to the Pussy that was on the park bench.”Dear Pussy, can you see me? I am a little insect with wings. I have come to you to ask you a question. Will you answer me?” – She asked darting towards the bench.
“Where are you? I can hardly see you. Don’t keep flitting. Sit on the bench next to me so I can see you.” – purred the Pussy.
She sat on the bench next to the Pussy. “Hush..mmmmm.. you are so tiny.” – The Pussy said licking his paws.
Dear Pussy. Do you know who you are?” – She asked hesitatingly.
“Sure, yes. I know. I am a Pussy and my name is Pesky. Why?” – He asked looking at the housefly through the corner of his eyes.
“Pesky dear, I want to know who I am. It is not just that I do not know who I am; but I do not even have a name.” – She said with a sigh.
‘Oh! That’s sad. Why have you come to me?”
“Kindly tell me who I am and what my name is. I was told that you are the right person to ask.”
-Said the fly looking straight into Pesky’s eyes.
Pesky closed his eyes and arched his back with pride. “Mmmm.. let me see. You are a tiny insect. Your mom must have hundreds of little ones like you. First, she should know who she is. It is only then she can tell you who you are. Isn’t it?” – Pesky was a bit harsh with his words.
“Yes. You are right. She does not know who she is, either.” – The fly batted her eyelid.
“No wonder little insect, you can’t have a name unless some human rears you. You need to have a master. It is only then we creatures get a name. But… who will rear you? You are a pest. You are dirty. You bring in sickness. You want to know who you are. Mmmmmmm.. give me a minute to think. I am not as clever as the bloodhound that lives in the corner house. He is known for his brains. May be he will know who you are.” – the puss yawned and closed his eyes.
“Hound…bloodhound…” – repeated the fly.
“Cockroach, sparrow, duck, pussy… they all know who they are. Why not me? Crafty creatures. They are palming me off to someone or the other. But, I will never give up. I will not only find out who I am, but will also find my name. Hound…the hound… I’ll go in search of him.” –she was determined.
A big grey Hound had fallen asleep near its kennel at the corner house. He looked ferocious and frightening! “Should I ask him? Should I go near him?”- The fly was hesitant.
“Patch, come here, it’s time for your lunch.” – Someone called from nearby.
The hound stood up, shook his body and went near his food bowl.
“Hound… Patch… So nice! He has an identity of his own. He has someone to feed him. He is so fortunate. The fly felt hunger welling up in her stomach. “Can’t I just sit on his food and have a small gulp? He will not even notice me. But, what if he does? He could even snap at me and that would be the end of me.”
She was in a dilemma. Finally, her hunger got the better of her. She slowly flitted towards the food bowl. Sat at the edge and looked up at the hound. He did not seem to notice her. She made bold to slowly slide into the bowl and nibbled at the food. She suddenly noticed his huge snout near her and she had to escape. She flew out and sat on a small morsel of food that had spilt over the bowl on to the ground. She had her fill. The hound emptied the bowl, licked up the bottom of it and went back to his kennel.
Now is the chance. He has just had his food and is not really hungry and so he won’t be angry.
Oh, I know how to rhyme my words! She said to herself and went slowly close to him and sat on his paw. She realized that he felt her; because he lifted his paw to get rid of her.
“Oh dear hound, please help me. I will do you no harm. I have shared a small morsel of food with you just now. Sorry about that. I am told that you are very clever. Can you answer one question of mine?” –She pleaded buzzing close to his ear.
Patch flapped his ears. “Who are you and where are you? How dare you share my food without my permission?” – He growled.
“Sorry, I just nipped a bit of what was on the floor. That’s all I need. I don’t eat a whole bowl like you. One small nibble; forgive me.” – She said humbly.
“That’s okay. Now, here you are. I can’t even see you. What is it that you want? Ask me fast and get off my ear. You are disturbing me. – The hound seemed angry.
“I am a small creature that does not know who I am. I don’t even have a name. I need to know it. I know you are a hound and you also have a special name Patch. I heard someone call you. Patch, do you know who I am? Can you tell me please? You need not give me a name; but just tell me who I am.\’
“You! Why do you want to know who you are? Who owns you and who needs to call you? I don’t think little insects like you need to know who you all are. You are just an ‘insect’. Just buzz off and leave me alone.” – His voice was so gruff that it frightened the little one.
“No luck” – She said to herself and flew up.
She flew and flew and came to a flower garden. There, she saw another one like her who was very much bigger than her with a long tail and huge wings. “What if I ask this giant creature to tell me who I am?” – She flew close to the creature and she could feel her buzz. Her face was big and eyes were protruding.
“Oh dear! Oh dear! You big winged creature. Who are you and why do you make such a buzzing noise?” – She said as she went close to her.
The creature turned around and stared at the little fly. The sun shone on her wings and there was a multicolored reflection.
“You, you little creature, did you talk to me just now?” – Asked the big-winged one.
“Yes. You are a giant aren’t you? I have a question. Will you answer me?” – She squeaked humbly.
“Ask me. What do you want little one?’ – She seemed quite kind.
“Giant creature, who are you and what is your name? I know you are very wise. Please be good enough to tell me who I am and what my name could be?”
“You look a bit like me, but you are too tiny. They call me the Dragon Fly. You are a tiny version of me and you do not look scary. You always linger in homes; so maybe you could be called just a ‘House fly’. A ‘fly’. Just a ‘House Fly’. That’s all!
“Just a ‘House fly’? Oh. That’s wonderful. I am just a fly; not a Dragon Fly, but a ‘House fly’ Yes. I am just a ‘House Fly’; “But listen, what could be my ‘name’? – said the little fly.
“You don’t need a name. You are not anybody’s pet. You are a ‘House Fly’ and that’s all.” – Said the Dragon Fly and flew away.
“Oh, I am a fly. I am a ‘House Fly’. I don’t need a name. I am nobody’s pet. I belong to the house. I am just a ‘House Fly’…….
The ‘fly’ flew home to her mother with excitement! “Mamma, I am a House Fly. You are a House fly too!
She repeated it several times until she became very tired and went to sleep.