"That looks like a rainbow on the
ground," Bonnie gasped. "Itís so colorful. I see flowers of every color
imaginable. Where are we?"
Bruce looked down. "Weíre flying
over a place called Flowerdale. Itís just on the outskirts of a town
called Gairloch. Would you like to stop there and taste some of those
flowers?" Bruce smiled, already knowing the answer.
"Oh, could we? I mean, look at them.
I see daisies and violets, wild roses, buttercups, hyacinth, iris,
pansies, lilacs, rhododendron and so many more. Itís like being in flower
heaven," Bonnie sighed peacefully.
"Follow me," Bruce said and the two
butterflies glided down to Flowerdale. Bonnie headed straight for the
pansies. Bruce fluttered to the wild roses. They sipped nectar until they
were full, going from flower to flower.
"The river is beautiful. Surely itís
filled with salmon and trout. I guess people come here to fish, donít
they?" Bonnie asked.
"They come here to fish, to hunt, to
golf, to hike or to go on sea excursions to watch dolphins, porpoise and
seals. Gairloch is an interesting place," Bruce said, while standing on
the edge of a poppy.
"Letís hear it. I know youíre dying
to tell me. Iím ready. Tell me about Gairloch," Bonnie said, knowing she
couldnít stop him.
"If you insist. Gairloch has a
history that goes way back to the Bronze Age. There are hut circles near
the rivers and ruins of an ancient fort, called An Dun. There were a lot
of problems with Viking invaders. You can tell because of the place names,
but of course, the Gaelic influence is strong here. Gairloch actually
means Ďshort lochí in Gaelic. It used to be a thriving fishing port, but
now has just a few boats left, like many of the fishing villages in
Scotland that weíve seen so far."
Bonnie stood and listened, nodding
her head now and then, pretending to listen, but her mind was actually on
the poppy that Bruce was standing on. She craved its nectar. "Yes, Bruce,
go on," she said, wanting him to finish.
"Thereís not much else to tell.
There are beaches and gardens and of course, this beautiful glen,
Flowerdale and oh yes, the sunsets here are spectacular. Should we stay
and watch one tonight?" he asked.
"That would be lovely. Iíve not seen
a pretty sunset for a long time, but for now, could you move. I want that
poppy," Bonnie said, flying over to it and practically knocking Bruce off.
"Bonnie, you shouldnít still be
hungry! Youíve been feasting on nectar for an hour or two," Bruce said,
but she wasnít listening. Her proboscis was deep into the poppy center by
now and all her mind was focused on its delicious tasting nectar.
When she finished she lay back and
patted her tummy. It was full and bulging. "Iíve not eaten that much in my
life. I feel too full to fly. I ate too much," she moaned.
Just then a huge bee, bigger than
either butterfly had ever seen, buzzed over to them and hovered above the
poppy. "Youíre big," Bruce gulped, looking up at it.
"Youíre the biggest bee Iíve ever
seen," Bonnie added. "I suppose if I lived in a place called Flowerdale
and could have all these flowers around me, Iíd soon be big too," she
chuckled, patting her fat tummy.
The bee stared at them and didnít
say a word. "What do you want?" Bruce asked.
The bee started buzzing in Gaelic.
"Whatís he saying?" Bonnie asked.
"I donít know. I canít speak
Gaelic," Bruce answered.
The bee moved in closer and closer
to the flower. "Uh, I think he wants us to move. I think he wants the
poppy now," Bonnie said, climbing to the edge of the petal. Bruce flew a
few inches away but Bonnie was so full that she couldnít fly. The bee came
closer, and closer, and closer. Bonnie climbed over the edge of the red
poppy and held onto one of the petals with her hands. Suddenly the bee
jumped up and down on the petals and her hands couldnít hold any longer.
"Iím slipping," she shouted and then had no choice but to let go. She fell
through the air. "Help me, Bruce!" she shouted.
Bruce fluttered down, trying to
catch her but she was falling too fast. With a thud, Bonnie landed on the
grass, near the poppy stem. "Bonnie! Are you all right?" Bruce asked,
landing near her. She lay still and silent. Bruce nudged her, "Bonnie!
Her eyes opened up and she stared at
Bruce. "Iím all right, but I ache everywhere."
"That was quite a fall. I think
youíre full tummy helped. You bounced right off it!" Bruce said, smiling
She sat up and rubbed her head.
"That bee really wanted the poppy, didnít he?"
"We could go into town now," Bruce
suggested. "The bee wonít bother us there."
"Weíll have to walk for a while.
Thereís no way I can fly right now," Bonnie said.
The butterflies walked slowly,
through the tall grass, around the river, and into town. They arrived just
as the sun was beginning to set. They were tired too. "Oh look, a
sunflower," Bruce said. He flew up and checked for bees. "No bees here,"
he called down.
Bonnie flapped her wings and was
able to flutter up to the sunflower. "We can lie here for the night and
watch the sunset," Bruce said.
As the reddish-orange ball of
sunshine began to set, the sky lit up like it was on fire. Rays of gold
shot out through a sky of pink, purple, crimson, orange and deep blue.
"Itís beautiful," Bonnie said. They watched until the sun had disappeared
and darkness blanketed Gairloch. "If you donít mind, Iíd like to just curl
up and go to sleep. That was quite a day."
Bruce watched Bonnie pull her wings
around her body and fall asleep. He stared one more time at the horizon
and did the same thing. It was an end to a beautiful day.