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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Beauly’s A Beauty

"I just love the highlands, don’t you, Bruce?" Bonnie, the pink butterfly asked her friend.

"It’s rugged, there are mountains, rivers, trees and best of all, flowers of all sorts!"

"It is rather lovely up here, but we’re barely to the highlands. I think you’ll like the place we’re coming upon. It’s a wee town called Beauly and it’s a beauty. It’s also a good place to pick up some Highland tweed," Bruce said.

"Sure, Bruce. I always have to slip on my jacket before going out. Don’t be silly. Why would a butterfly wear tweed?" Bonnie mocked.

"I was just informing you. There’s Beauly now," he said, pointing to the village below. "There’s a Priory, which is now in ruins though. What I really think you’ll enjoy is the flowers. Come on," he called, flying towards the town.

They landed in a field of flowers. "Bruce! I’ve not seen so many beautiful flowers in my life all gathered in one place!" She was in awe. She flew right over to a large daffodil and started sipping nectar.

Beauly’s A Beauty

Just then a red squirrel jumped out from behind a leafy bush. "Scram!" he shouted. Bonnie looked up. Bruce was sitting just above her on a leaf. The butterflies stared at the squirrel without saying a word. "Didn’t you hear me? I said scram. SCRAM!" The butterflies continued to stare at the furry animal. "Perhaps I need to spell it out for you. S-C-R-A-M! Don’t you speak English?" he asked.

Bonnie began to mumble, "Why do we have to scram? There are enough pretty flowers for us all. You’re a squirrel. You don’t sip nectar!"

"This is my territory. You two must not be from around here. Well, here in Beauly, I’m the king of the flowers!" the squirrel said.

"Who are you anyway? What makes you king?" Bruce asked.

"I’m Fraser. My family’s been in this area for hundreds of years," the squirrel explained.

Bonnie had to think quickly. There were too many flowers here that looked delicious. "Fraser, how do you think all these flowers got here? How do you think they stay here?"

"They just grow!" Fraser answered.

"No, they don’t just grow. We butterflies have to pollinate them. We fly from flower to flower carrying pollen," Bonnie explained.

"Oh. I suppose that makes sense. I do love my flowers. You can stay for a while then," Fraser agreed.

"Since we’re here, why don’t you show us about town," Bruce pleaded.

"Can do! Follow me," Fraser said.

The butterflies and the squirrel headed into town. "How did they come up with the name Beauly?" Bonnie asked.

Bruce was about to answer, but Fraser quickly answered, "Mary, Queen of Scots was coming through this area. She looked out of the window and saw how pretty it was. She said, ‘Quel beau lieu’. We’ve got quite the town here, one of the most beautiful in all of Scotland. We win yearly awards for the flowers." They came to the main street. "Ah, here’s the main road. That’s the Beauly Priory," Fraser noted. "It’s just ruins now, but it was a grand place in the 13th century."

They fluttered behind Fraser as he ran through the town. "If its flowers you want, auld Mrs. McKintosh has got the loveliest garden in the whole village," Fraser told them. "Nothing can beat her peonies and rhododendrons. Would you like to see?"

"Yes," Bonnie answered quickly.

"I suppose," Bruce said. He was a bit jealous of Fraser. After all, he knew as much as the squirrel did!

"Quiet, please. If she catches me in her garden, she’ll take the broom to me. She’ll not worry about a couple of butterflies, but she doesn’t like squirrels, especially not me!" Fraser said.

They fluttered into the garden. GASP! "This is even lovelier than before. Look at the colors! I’ve never seen such pretty shades of yellows, reds and pinks," Bonnie smiled.

"Go to it then. Have yourselves a wee sip. I’ll keep guard," Fraser said. The butterflies fluttered about from flower to flower. "Och no!" Fraser cried out.

Just then auld Mrs. McKintosh came running outside with broom in hand. "Get out o’ here, ye annoyin squirrel. I thought I told ye to stay oot of me floo’ers."

She started to swing at Fraser. "Time to go," he shouted and ran through the back garden into the street. Bonnie and Bruce followed. "I knew she’d catch me today. I hope you’ve seen what you wanted. If you go down that way," Fraser said, pointing, you’ll come to the River Beauly. There are some lovely daffodils growing along the banks. You might even spot a tulip or two. I’ve got to get back. Cheerio," Fraser said, running back towards the field of flowers.

"Cheerio," Bruce and Bonnie called, waving goodbye. "He’s a nice chap, isn’t he?" Bruce said.

"I was a wee bit afraid of him at first, but it turns out his bark was worse than his bite," Bonnie chuckled. "I say we go back into the garden. Mrs. McKintosh will not mind us being there, surely." She fluttered towards the flowers.

"Wait for me," Bruce called.

The butterflies spent the whole afternoon sipping nectar. When they’d had their fill, they flew down to the River Beauly, found a large oak leaf and fell asleep, dreaming of the pretty flowers they’d seen that day.

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