Yellow Butterfly Wings: Mary's Story

Butterfly Wings: Mary's Story

Mary: A yellow and black butterfly
Mary: A yellow and black butterfly

Mary: The Butterfly with Crippled Wings

The Butterfly
The Butterfly

A Children's Book

One day, in the late spring, a little boy named Avery found a big, beautiful, yellow and black butterfly. The butterfly could not fly; she had a wing that was too short on one side. The butterfly looked sadly up at Avery.

"I will help you," said Avery.

Avery picked up the butterfly very gently. "I will call you Mary," he said. Mary fluttered her yellow wings. She liked the little boy very much.

___________________

Avery set Mary on a big plant inside his house. The plant had red flowers. Mary liked the flowers but soon she was hungry. The red flowers were not the right flowers for Mary; she could not sip the nectar of these flowers.

"What will I feed you?" asked Avery. Mary looked at him and fluttered her yellow wings.

"What will I feed her?" Avery asked his mother.

"We must find out what kind of butterfly she is," said his mother, "then we will know what kind of flowers she needs."

______________

Avery and his mother looked at a big book about butterflies. They saw many pictures of yellow butterflies. Then Avery saw one that looked just like Mary. It had black stripes on the yellow wings and little blue dots along the bottom.

"There she is!" Avery pointed to the picture.

"She is a Swallowtail Butterfly," read his mother. "Swallowtail butterflies like many types of flowers: geraniums, lilacs, thistles and even dandelions."

Avery knew where to find dandelions. He ran outside and came back with a bunch of dandelions. He put them into a vase and then he set Mary on the flowers. Right away, Mary uncurled her straw-like tongue called a proboscis. She used her proboscis to sip nectar from the flower.

Avery smiled. Mary fluttered her wings with joy.


Butterfly

Pictures of butterflies by Mrs. M
Pictures of butterflies by Mrs. M

__________________

The book also said that Swallowtail Butterfly babies, or caterpillars, eat the leaves of trees like black cherry, aspen, poplar and choke cherry trees. The mother butterfly will look for these leaves to lay her eggs upon.

Avery went outside again and cut one branch of a cherry tree. He put the cut end of the branch into water so that the leaves would stay green. Then he set Mary on the branch. Mary crawled up and down the branch fluttering her beautiful wings. She was very pleased with the branch.

After a while, Avery saw that Mary had laid seven little green eggs on the branch. The eggs were bright, round and spread out on different parts of the branch. Mary looked tired but very proud of her new eggs.

Caterpillars to Butterflies

Pictures of butterflies by Mrs. M
Pictures of butterflies by Mrs. M

___________________

Ten days went by and Avery waited. Mary also waited.

Finally, the day came when the little eggs hatched. Out came seven very tiny brown caterpillars. The caterpillars began to eat the leaves. Avery made sure that Mary's babies had fresh leaves every day.

The little brown caterpillars grew quickly. As they grew, they turned green with spots that looked like eyes on their backs. They ate and ate, they grew and grew until they were big fat caterpillars. They looked like green snakes with blue eyes. They could stick out special tongues like snakes too. These tongues are called osmateria.

___________________

Avery cared for the caterpillars. He also took good care of Mary. He loved his butterfly and she loved him. But she was getting very old. Swallowtail butterflies only live a short while. Mary became tired and finally closed her eyes. Avery saw Mary laying still and he began to cry.

"I will keep your babies safe," he told Mary. And he did.


Caterpillars to Butterflies

Pictures of butterflies by Mrs. M
Pictures of butterflies by Mrs. M

____________________

When Mary's caterpillars were a few weeks old, they wanted to leave their branch. They wanted to find a place to make a chrysalis. The boy put the caterpillars into a big jar. He put branches into the jar for the caterpillars to climb. The caterpillars went round and round in the jar. After a while, they stopped and built little thread hammocks to lay in. They hung sideways on the branches. Finally, they transformed into chrysalises.

The chrysalises looked like brown leaves on the branch. Now they would sleep all winter. Avery put the jar in the garage so that the chrysalises didn't get too warm. Avery watched and waited all winter long. Mary's babies slept and slept.

____________________

Then one day, in the late spring, Avery watched as a big, beautiful, yellow butterfly crawled out of one of the chrysalises. Soon, Avery had seven beautiful Swallowtail butterflies. They had yellow and black striped wings with blue dots along the bottom. They fluttered their new wings excitedly as they prepared to fly for the first time.

Avery took Mary's children outside. He did not want to see them go but he knew that they needed to be free. A big tear ran down Avery's face as he let the butterflies go. Up, up they flew on perfect wings. They soared around in joyous loops and waved goodbye to their friend. Avery waved goodbye too.

Then he noticed something. Only six butterflies had flown away. One little butterfly was still trying to fly but she had a wing that was short on one side. She tried and tried but she could not fly. She looked sadly up at Avery.

"I will help you," said Avery.

Butterfly

Pictures of butterflies by Mrs. M
Pictures of butterflies by Mrs. M

More by this Author


Comments 24 comments

THAT Mary Ann 5 years ago

Lovely and informative. Up for sure. Thanks.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you kindly Mary Ann!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mrs. Menagerie, a very wonderful and beautiful hub, it was a joy to read !

Vote up and beautiful !!!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Aww shucks Kashmir,

Thanks so much!!


Ask_DJ_Lyons profile image

Ask_DJ_Lyons 5 years ago from Mosheim, Tennessee

Thanks was a very charming way to describe swallowtail butterflies. Loved it!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

This is such an encouraging compliment coming from an author and story teller such as yourself. Thank you Debbie!


Ask_DJ_Lyons profile image

Ask_DJ_Lyons 5 years ago from Mosheim, Tennessee

It sounds like you could be a really good storyteller yourself. Have you ever thought of performing the stories you write about?


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Nope...very shy. But I am working on illustrations for this story. I love to draw and paint.


Ask_DJ_Lyons profile image

Ask_DJ_Lyons 5 years ago from Mosheim, Tennessee

I hope you will post your illustrations once you have them finished. I would love to see them.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Did I mention you're the BEST?!


Ask_DJ_Lyons profile image

Ask_DJ_Lyons 5 years ago from Mosheim, Tennessee

Shucks me golly gee. Smile! Thanks, Mrs. M. Have a very happy day!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Castle...wow! Were they royal butterflies? Haha!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you kindly dali48!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

What a beautiful story, Mrs. Menagerie.

I've seen several types of butterflies up close. I've yet to see a Monarch butterfly in person.


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago

Gorgeous. We love Butterflies! Wonderful story. Blessings, Debby


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you most sincerely Flora and Debbie!!!


billips profile image

billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

A beautiful story. I enjoyed it very much!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you so much Billips!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

12/1

Hi, Mrs. Menagrie! What are the odds of me finding you on hubs and one of your characters being named AVERY? Loved it. And voted up and away on this beautiful hub. I love your writing style. Creativity. And just read the fan mail I left for you. I am so glad to follow you. And I welcome YOU to read my hubs IF you need a good laugh. And I would love to have you as my follower too. You could teach me how to write as good as you do. Sincerely, Kenneth AVERY, from Hamilton, a small town in northwest Alabama that looks a lot like Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Hey Kenneth and thank you so much! Interestingly, I am also originally from Hamilton, but the one in Ohio. Sadly, it does not look like Mayberry:( Too many factories.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hi, Mrs. Menagerie...you are welcome as can be. For a moment there I was about to type, "when were you in my town?" But still, what are the odds for two hubpages members to be from a town with the same name? Have a wonderful day, my new friend.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Beautiful once more,your hubs are all amazing and thanks for sharing these gems.

Take care and I have to vote up uu and away.

Eddy.


Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

Awesome. Reminds me of my childhood when my mother, who also had a menagerie in our house, used to collect chrysalis, and other egg cases, such as those of praying mantis, and we would watch everything hatch and set them free.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you Kenneth, Eiddwen and Lilleyth!

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