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The Fable of the Marsh Gnome and the Fearless Dragonfly

July 11th, 2020 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, can a fable help you fly in the face of fear?

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Maurice the Marsh Gnome. I know that may seem strange to you. You know about Garden Gnomes, but have probably never heard of a Marsh Gnome.

Until very recently, I myself was a Garden Gnome in a very nice yard in a small town not far from here. I greeted people who came to visit, put a smile on their face and spent my leisure time communing with the flowers and shrubs. It was an idyllic existence.

But one day earlier this summer, my owners picked me up and took me for a ride in their car. I thought perhaps they were going on vacation and taking me with them. But instead, they brought me to this conservation area and set me on this log at the edge of a marsh pond. I was confused and distressed at first and appealed to my owners.

“Why are you leaving me here? Don’t you like me anymore?”

“Oh no, Maurice,” they replied. “Please don’t think that. We love you. But we have a very important job for you. We are in the midst of troubled times. Many people are living in fear. Day after day they see reports in the news chock full of worrisome facts and figures that make it seem like the grim reaper is waiting outside their door .

“We decided to leave you here so you would bring a smile to the faces of people who walk by. For a moment or two, they will forget about their fears and enjoy life the way they used to.”

I was humbled by the new job they had given me and resolved to do it to the best of my ability. I have observed and learned much from the creatures with which I share this lovely pond. A Twelve-Spotted Skimmer dragonfly landed on me one day and I struck up a conversation.

“You’re quite pretty, Mr. Twelve-Spotted. I’ve admired you for some time now. But yesterday I saw a bird swoop down and try to eat you. Doesn’t that make you afraid to fly?”

“Well, Maurice, there is always that risk. But if I gave into that fear, I would never fly again. I do quite enjoy flying. It is what I was created to do. I figured out that the risk of getting snatched by a bird is the price to be paid for the joy of flying. So I choose to fly in the face of fear, if you will pardon the pun, and embrace life.”

He was a very wise dragonfly. He helped me better understand the important job I now have. I am here to help humans understand that living in fear of what you do not understand is a terrible trap. Far better to ask questions and understand for yourself what it is you fear. Knowledge defeats fear.

My job is to be a symbol for the freedom that comes from being a seeker of the truth.

I want you to understand that the truth often lays buried beneath unexamined facts the same way new growth awaits beneath the dead leaves of yesterday’s fears.

Take if from Maurice the Marsh Gnome: Your creator meant for you to live and embrace life, not to hide from it.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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