"You know, Bruce, it seems all these
towns are the same. They are all fishing villages, raided by the Vikings
or were Pictish settlements. Some have white sand beaches, others have
golden sand. So tell me, what is so interesting about this town?" Bonnie
The two butterflies were fluttering
over the town of Mallaig, on the west coast of Scotland. The harbor was
filled with fishing boats, going in and out. There were also a few ferries
and even a cruise ship. Bruce looked down, searching for an answer. "Hmmm.
Youíre right. Theyíre all much the same, but Mallaig has its unique
"Oh? Like what?" Bonnie asked.
"Mallaig was a fishing port. In fact
it was one of the busiest herring ports in Europe long ago," Bruce said.
"Thatís not so unique. Weíve come to
many fishing villages. Try again," she dared.
"They donít fish just for fish here.
This town is big on prawns and shellfish," Bruce added.
"Wow, Bruce. Thatís not that
special; a few prawns, a few shrimp, clams, musselsÖ.."
He searched for an answer, something
that was special about Mallaig. "Iíve got it. Thereís a big railway
station in town. Trains chug up and down the hills, bringing fishermen,
tourists and travelers."
"Thatís more interesting, but youíll
have to do better than that," Bonnie said, "but first, letís land
somewhere. My wings are very tired."
They fluttered down to the top of a
building. "Oh look," Bruce said. "Thereís the train now. Itís ready to
leave soon. Letís watch it. I love trains."
"Whatever," Bonnie sighed. They sat
and watched the conductors and passengers as they struggled with their
luggage. Just then the trainís whistle blew. It just so happened to be
right below Bruce and Bonnie. It was so loud that it knocked the
butterflies off their feet. A cloud shot out from the trainís chimney and
came billowing towards them, engulfing them in a swirl of smoke and steam.
"Whoa! I think Iím deaf now. Cough. Cough," Bonnie said.
The steam evaporated into the warm
air. "That was rather loud. Itís a call to all last minute passengers that
the train will be leaving right away," Bruce explained. They stood up and
watched as the train began to chug away. It let out another whistle, but
was away from the platform by then. "That was fun. Thereís something
exciting about a train as it rolls down the tracks."
"If you say so. Well, at least its
quiet now. I wonder if there are any gardens filled with asters and
marigolds?" Bonnie wondered.
"Iím sure there are. Letís go and
find some flowers for you," Bruce said. The two flew off in search of
"Whatís that building over there?"
"I think itís the lifeboat station.
Since this town is right on the coast and since the men go fishing in all
types of weather, I imagine they need a lifeboat station here," Bruce
"Yes, I imagine they do. Oh goodie,
there are some flowers," Bonnie spied. They fluttered down to them. "Aha,
marigolds. Theyíre very pretty."
"If you like marigolds. I prefer
these pink aster," Bruce said. The two began to sip the nectar.
They heard some chirping in the
trees behind them. "What kinds of birds are those?" Bonnie asked. She
looked around. "Theyíre just lovely. Look how blue they are."
"Bluebirds? This far north? Thatís
unusual, but those are bluebirds. It looks like someone built a house for
them out of wood," Bruce said.
"I want to peek inside," Bonnie
"Letís wait till they leave first.
Bluebirds like to eat butterflies," Bruce cautioned.
They finished sipping nectar and
finally the bluebirds left. "Come on, Bruce, letís go," Bonnie said,
fluttering to the birdhouse. Bruce followed. Bonnie flew up to the small
round hole that the birds flew in and out of. "Oh look. Itís a nest, with
baby bluebirds in it. How precious," Bonnie said.
"Bonnie, if itís a nest, that means
the birds wonít be gone for long. Weíd better go. Oops, itís too late.
Here they are now," Bruce said. "Quick. Hide underneath." They flew under
the birdhouse and hid, just as the two bluebirds came back to the nest.
The babies began to chirp noisily. "Come on. Theyíre both inside. We can
escape," Bruce said.
A few minutes later they were back
at the marigolds and asters. "Whew, that was close. At least I got to see
inside a bluebirdís house."
"Come on, letís leave. I hear the
beaches are nice around here," Bruce urged.
"Party pooper," Bonnie humphed. "All
right, letís go." They flew towards the beach. "Mallaigís a nice town;
small, clean, filled with seagulls, smells like fish down here, but nice,"
"Oh Bonnie," Bruce laughed and the
two enjoyed the rest of their day watching the waves roll in.