Mama and Papa
ladybug never stayed too close to home. They flew off to visit flowers
and gather pollen and nectar, or to watch the fish diving in and out of
the stream. The problem was that they had ten baby ladybugs who didn't
like to be left home alone.
“We want to go
to the pond and to see the flowers,” Lily whined.
“But you can't.
You'll get lost. You babies haven't left home since you were born. Papa
and I know our way around.” Mama picked Lily up and gave her a big hug.
“Maybe it's time
we taught the children how to find their way.” Papa wiggled his antenna.
Papa. They are much too young to fly, but we could teach them to find
their way on the ground. You stay here with them and I'll make a trail.
In an hour you can let them try to come and find me.” Mama smiled at
Papa and ran through the grass. She ran behind the flowers, across the
grass, behind stones, over puddles and under tall willow trees. When she
felt she'd gone far enough, she stopped and waited.
his babies around. “It's time. Lily, you lead the way and help your
brothers and sisters find their way to Mama. Be careful, follow her
trail and let's see if you're ready to venture out on your own.” Papa
gave each of them a kiss. “Goodbye, Lily. Goodbye Lisa, Larry, Lynn,
Laura, Lucy, Lester, Loren, Leslie, and Louise.” Papa waited until
they'd all gone and then he followed. He'd keep his eye on the
stragglers that lost their way.
Lily rushed down
the trail. “This is easy. I know where Mama went.”
Some of the
others didn't have as easy a time. Loren and Laura got lost and ended up
stuck in a spider's web. Papa pulled them out, put them back on the
trail and told them to hurry on their way.
ladybugs ran over the flowers, around the bushes and trees and swam
across the stream. When Lily came out of the water, she couldn't find
the trail. “Oh no! I've lost the trail to Mama.” She opened her red and
black polka dot wings, flapped them up and down and then started to cry.
“Mama, where are you? I wish I could fly.”
All of the other
ladybugs crossed the stream and sat next to Lily. If she couldn't find
her way, then none of them could either. When Papa got there, he found
all his children sobbing. “Come on, babies. I'll help you find Mama.”
Papa led them to her.
Mama looked at
her unhappy children. “I tried to tell you that you weren't ready to
leave home yet. Let's go home. I'll make you all a honeybee milkshake.
Maybe next week we can try this again.”
Mama and Papa
led their gang home. They feasted on milkshakes and nectar sandwiches.
None of them complained about staying home again. Mama and Papa knew
best, for now.