Bobby ran down the hillside almost tripping in the long grass. With a whoop he hurled his flying machine into the air.

The little clockwork dragonfly took flight, erratically at first. Buffeted by the wind it dropped before righting itself and darting upwards; its wings an iridescent blur of blue and gold in the sunlight.

As Bobby cheered a shadow fell across the meadow. Swooping out of the sun the bat, a vile contraption of oil-cloth and barbed wire, snatched up the dragonfly in its claws and carried it away.

Even though he was almost ten, Bobby began to cry.


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