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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Peace in the Meadow


"I see a meadow and I see some flowers," Bonnie said, struggling for breath. "Iím tired and Iím hungry and Iím going to stop at those flowers whether you do or not."

"Iíll follow you," Bruce agreed.

The two butterflies fluttered slowly down to the buttery yellow buttercups. They sipped the nectar and enjoyed the shade offered by the willow trees hanging over the flowers.

Sheep

BAAA! BAAA! BAAA!

Bonnie lifted her head. "Did I just hear sheep?"

BAAA! BAAA! BAAA!

"I thought so." She looked around her. "Weíve landed in a meadow all right, but itís full of grazing sheep." Several of them were nibbling on tender grasses only a few feet from the butterflies.

BAAA! BAAA! BAAA!

"They wonít bother us. They donít eat butterflies. They eat grass," Bruce assured her.

"Theyíre also very noisy! Oh well. Iím too hungry to care right now," Bonnie said and stuck her proboscis back into the buttercup.

"I wonder where we are?" Bruce asked.

"Why donít you go and check things out and Iíll stay here and eat," Bonnie suggested.

"Good idea. Iíll be back in a while. Donít let any sheep eat you while Iím gone," he giggled. Bruce flew high above the willow tree and looked around. "Hmmm, that looks like a river up there." Fluttering his wings, the butterfly headed towards the Gala Water, or river. "It is a river and thereís the village. What is it called, I wonder?" He flew around town looking for a sign of some sort. "Aha, itís called Galashiels. Now, where have I heard that name before?" He flew down the main street. "Thereís another woolen mill. Iíll stay out of that place," he said, remembering his last encounter with a mob of shoppers.

While he was flying around the village, Bonnie was finding herself in a bit of a predicament. "Go away, sheep. Shoo. Shoo," she said. Several large, wooly sheep were nibbling on the buttercups all around Bonnie.

BAAA! BAAA! BAAA!

"Nice sheep. Go away. Go and nibble on the heather or the bluebells. Leave the buttercups to Bonnie," she said to them. One of the sheep looked at her and then sniffed the buttercup she stood on. Suddenly Bonnie saw an open mouth headed for her. "Yikes!" she cried and flew into the air, just as the sheep ripped the buttercups out of the ground and munched them down. "Is there anywhere safe, where a butterfly can just sip nectar and not be eaten by other animals?" She flew up to the top of the willow. "Where did Bruce go? Over there, I imagine, near the village. Off I go then."

She found Bruce sitting on a flagpole. The flag of St. Andrew was waving in the wind. "You get a good view from up here," he said as Bonnie landed next to him. "Finish your buttercups?" he asked her.

"The sheep finished them for me, thank you," she muttered angrily. "So, Bruce, whatís the name of this town?"

"Itís called Galashiels. Iíve been sitting here trying to remember things Iíve heard about this place. Aha! The Earls of Douglas once had a tower here, way back in the 1300ís. Margaret Tudor and King James IV of Scotland were married at the Mercat Cross in town."

"Margaret Tudor? Was she the daughter of one of the King Henrys?" Bonnie asked.

"Yes. I know there was a huge textile trade here too. They made fabulous cloths here," Bruce said.

A gust of wind came roaring down the main street and blew the butterflies right off the flagpole. Luckily Bruce was able to grab hold of the flag. "Hold on, Bonnie," he called. She grabbed onto Bruceís legs and held on tight. The wind whipped them around. The flag snapped and tugged and threw them all over the place.

"I nearly lost my wings there," Bonnie said, flying to the ground after the gust had passed. "What was that? A tornado?" She brushed the dust out of her eyes.

"Just a gust, Bonnie." Bruce rubbed his legs. They were sore from having Bonnie pulling on them.

VROOOM! VROOOM! VROOOM! A motorcycle drove past, throwing more dust into their faces. "First it was the sheep and then it was the wind and now motorcycles. Letís go back to the meadow and find some daisies. I thought I saw some growing along the river. I think weíll be safe there," Bonnie said.

The butterflies left Galashiels behind and flew towards the Gala Water. Bonnie was right. There was a large patch of white daisies with lemon-yellow centers. They feasted on nectar all afternoon. For the rest of the day, they werenít disturbed by any more sheep. As the sun set that evening, they fell asleep under the petals of the daisies while the gentle river flowed past. "Goodnight, Bruce."

"Goodnight, Bonnie."


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