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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
A Village Full of Memories

"Iím getting very tired, Bonnie," Bruce sighed. "Weíve been flying for ages."

"I know, but I want to make it to Auchmithie tonight. Finally, weíre going to a place that I know. I can show you around instead of you showing me, plus, you will never taste better clover nectar in your life. The tops of the cliffs are covered with wildflowers in the spring," Bonnie smiled as she remembered.

"Cliffs? Weíre going to the seaside again, are we? That makes me a wee bit nervous. Where the sea is, birds are also!" Bruce worried.

"There are birds; puffins, gannets, seagulls; the usual, but weíll be careful."

They soon found themselves fluttering above the village. "Auchmithie is high on the sides of the cliffs. Donít the people fall?"

"No, of course not. Itís safe for them. They know not to get too close. Itís a 150 feet drop to the beach below," Bonnie said.

"Itís a pebbly beach, not a sandy one. My favorite! That means crabs and little sea creatures, doesnít it? I love watching them crawl around," Bruce smiled.

"Come on, thereís the clover," Bonnie pointed out. The sun was beginning to set. "Bruce, weíd better sleep amongst the clover tonight and explore the village in the morning." Bruce agreed so they curled up under the fluffy, pink, flower balls and fell asleep.

"Squawk! Squawk! Squawk!" went a seagull as if flew over the sleeping butterflies.

"Whatís that?" Bruce said, startled. "Oh no, itís a bird. Stay low," he warned.

"Itís only a seagull, Bruce. Come on. Stop being so afraid. There are so many fish, crabs, mussels and other foods for them. Why would they want to eat a measly little butterfly when they could have seafood?" Bonnie answered.

"Youíre right. So, Bonnie, tell me about this village. Itís rather small, isnít it?" Bruce noted.

"A long time ago this village was famous for smoking fish."

"You mean, fish smoked?" Bruce said, his eyes showing curiosity.

Bonnie laughed. "Of course not. The people smoked them. They put them on rods and hung them over smoking fires so that the fish absorbed the smoke and tasted good. Did I ever tell you my great grandmother was from this area? She used to tell me stories of how the air smelled of fish here; fish and smoke."

"I didnít know that your ancestors were from Auchmithie. Wonderful! What else is here?" Bruce asked.

"Well, as I said before, there is the flowers and they are delicious ones," Bonnie reminded. Just then a small gray mouse came running past, knocking the two butterflies over. "What was that?" Bonnie said, standing up and brushing off her wings.

Bruce stood up. The mouse was a few feet in front of them. "Sorry. Thereís a cat out there and heís after me. I canít fly, like you two can. I can only run."

Bruce and Bonnie looked at each other and then at the mouse. "Can we help you?" Bonnie asked the frightened mouse.

It came running back towards them. "If you could be so kind as to carry me down to the beach. Then I could hide among the rocks. Cats donít like water, so it wonít venture down to the sea," the mouse pleaded.

"Of course we can," Bruce answered. Bonnie grabbed one hand and Bruce grabbed the other. They tried to fly but the mouse was heavy. "You weigh a ton. This isnít going to be easy."

mouse being carried by the butterflies

They struggled and just as they lifted off the ground, the cat came running by.

"MEOW!" It jumped up and tried to catch the mouse.

Bonnie and Bruce flew higher. HUFF! PUFF! HUFF! PUFF!

"My arms are nearly broken," Bonnie cried. Finally they touched down on the pebbly beach. "There you are," she said, dropping the mouse.

A wave rolled in and crept slowly up to where they were standing. "I donít think that cat will bother you now," Bruce said, watching the water pull back out to sea.

"Thank you. I think Iíll head over to the harbor. Itís wee, but there are always fishing boats coming in with their catch. By the way, I donít know if you knew this, but thereís a huge cornfield just outside the village. Maybe youíre in the mood for some?" the mouse asked.

"Thanks, weíll go and see. You run off now and be careful," Bonnie said. The two butterflies fluttered back up to the top of the cliff. "That was one heavy mouse! My arms are so sore." She rubbed them.

"I canít say that I like corn too much, but Iíd love another chance at the clover," Bruce said.

"Clover it is then. It was great to come back here. It brings back a lot of memories. I remember my grandma telling me this was an old Norse town. I know that smugglers used to hide their goods in the caves below," Bonnie said.

"Vikings and smugglers. What a combination! Did anyone famous ever visit here? It seems like a quiet place where you could write a book or something," Bruce answered.

"I believe Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott came here to get some inspiration. I think I need a good dose of clover nectar for my aching arms. Are you hungry?" Bonnie asked.

"What a silly question," Bruce smiled. They butterflies landed on the puffy clover balls and spent the rest of the day sipping nectar under clear blue skies and warm sunshine!

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