“I can never believe what happened yesterday. I was just flying around in the air happily, sucking on my favorite yellow flower nectar, when a huge thingy just came swinging at me, and I got tangled in it.”
I can never believe what happened yesterday. I was just flying around in the air happily, sucking on my favorite yellow flower nectar, when a huge thingy just came swinging at me, and I got tangled in it. The huge thingy had white strings in a pretty pattern, and there were holes in between the strings. There was a long red something attached to the strings. There was a round ball with a colorful ball in the middle staring at me hungrily.
I knew at once what those were. Those were the eyes of the big Hoomins! Mother told me about them. She said that they were super dangerous. She said they were the ones who captured Father! Revenge! I want revenge for that! But Mother always told me, “Don’t go looking for trouble!” Does Mother even want revenge? I think she does. She just doesn’t want me to get caught.
Well, I guess it’s too late now. I’ve already been caught. Those big eyes just stared at me even more, and without warning, the Hoomin opened her mouth. I fluttered my wings in terror. She was going to eat me! And before I could escape, a thunderous roar came out of the mouth yelling, “Marty! I caught a butterfly!”
The ground quaked as another one of the Hoomins came stumbling over. This Hoomin had straggly brown hair and big blue eyes. I just found out that his name was Marty. I was never so scared in my life. My hunger was still tingling around in my stomach when that Hoomin named Marty scooped me out of the big tangly thing with this scooper thing. Then, he put this white thing on top of the scooper, where the opening was.
I was trapped. My wings took me to the top of the scooper, and I headbutted the white thing. A big thing. One of the Hoomins Hainds pushed me down again, and I fell to the floor, my wings crinkling beneath me. A few moments later, the big Hoomins released me for a moment, and I flew up in the air gratefully, stretching my wings. But I barely got to fly around when the Hoomins pushed me inside this weird boxy thingy made out of a see-through thing. I’ve never seen this before. I wonder if Father was trapped the same way. When they first pushed me in, I thought they set me free inside their own home, but I learned the hard way. I tried to fly out but got banged in the head. I crumpled to the ground. I have never felt so sad in my life.
As I lay on the ground, I heard voices from the other room. Not just any kind of voice, big, loud, thundering voices. They said this: “Bye, Marty! See you at school tomorrow!”
“Bye, Rio!” A loud bang sounded as the home blocker closed. The girl Hoomin came over to the weird box, the ground quaking again. A bigger Hoomin followed behind, making the ground quake even more dangerously. I felt sick. I wanted to puke, but restrained myself. The big Hoomin gave me the hungry look again, her eyes closer to me than ever. I fluttered helplessly, scared half to death.
Oh, how I missed my sisters Curl and Murl. I missed the feeling of my other sister Twirl’s wings brushing against mine. I missed the days when my other sister Pearl and I went flying through the meadows together. And I missed Mother the most of all. I missed her delicate touch on my wing. I missed her beautiful scent. I missed her everything. I loved the patterns on my sisters’ wings. The pink background and the beautiful yellow circles. I missed my mother’s warm black eyes. And it was the Hoomins’ fault that I would probably never see her again. The Hoomins’ fault that I never got to meet my father. I needed revenge! The Hoomins ruined everything for me. Destroying our butterflies’ peaceful lives! I suddenly felt a wave of anger at the Hoomins. They destroyed my whole life!
Rio was still looking at me with a pretty gleam in her eyes. She turned away from me and straightened up, facing the bigger Hoomin. “She needs food,” she said. “I don’t know what butterflies eat, but maybe we can take some of Tibbie’s food for this butterfly.”
“Okay,” the huge Hoomin agreed. I folded my wings and sat down at the bottom of my cage, planning my revenge.
The Hoomins came back with one cricket. I was like, really? Do they expect me to eat a cricket? They opened the hole blocker and dropped the cricket in front of me. “Eat up, little one,” the big Hoomin said in a softer but still loud voice.
The cricket scrambled to his feet and started hopping around like crazy and chirping loudly as the Hoomins backed away from the weird box. Once the cricket saw me, he calmed down. “You’re not going to eat me, are you?” he asked uneasily.
“Heavens no!” I cried. “Who would say such a thing?!”
“The lizard named Tibbie.”
“Really.” I felt hungry, but not hungry enough to eat a poor cricket. I could still remember the terror I felt when the big Hoomin had opened her mouth, and I thought I was about to be eaten. “What’s your name?” I asked the cricket, hoping to change the subject.
“Nightingale,” the cricket answered. “You?”
“Whirl,” I answered back. Nightingale and I chatted a bit more until we got to the idea of escaping. When Nightingale started talking about escaping, I turned away.
“What’s wrong?” Nightingale asked, sitting beside me.
I sighed. “Father got killed because he tried to escape,” I told him sadly.
Nightingale scooched closer. “But we’re not going to be killed this time,” he said softly. “We’re going to survive.” I sniffled and looked at him. He smiled back. “Do you want to hear or not?” he chirped softly at me.
“Hear what?” I asked him.
“My plan,” Nightingale answered me.
I looked at his hopeful expression and made up my mind. “Yes,” I answered.
Nightingale chirped on and on, saying, “Let’s hide me somewhere, and then Rio and her family will think you ate me. And then, they will drop another cricket. To drop another cricket inside this box, they will have to open the hole blocker. Once they open the hole blocker, we will be able to escape through the hole!” As he was talking, I flew around the box, just in case there were some small holes that I could get through with Nightingale. Finally, when he finished rambling on, I flew down and lay myself on the ground.
“What’s wrong?” Nightingale asked, worried.
“Hungry,” I answered in a croaky voice.
“What do you eat?” Nightingale asked fussily, pacing around the weird box. I shook myself. When somebody mentioned food, I would always have gone trying to find the yummy yellow flower nectar. But now since I had no food, I was nearly dying of hunger. “What do you eat?” Nightingale asked me louder.
“Yellow flower nectar!” I shouted back.
“Mom!” Rio’s voice shouted at the same time, “Stop those critters from being noisy!” Heavy footsteps came to the weird box, and the ground quaked. I folded my warm white wings around me, and my black antennas twitched with fright. I backed away from the Hoomin who was towering over us. A Haind hit the weird box, and it rocked dangerously, and Nightingale and I rocked along with it, clutching each other tightly.
“Try chirping again, and you’ll be sorry!” the mom snarled.
As the Hoomin left the room, I started searching for a spot where Nightingale could hide, so it looked like I ate him. I found a perfect spot under all the pebbles. I felt uncomfortable as I told Nightingale quietly about the hiding spot. I told him that he didn’t need to hide there since it would be very uncomfortable.
But Nightingale just answered, “I came from a pet shop, so I’m very used to uncomfortable places.” So, Nightingale lay in a little hole in the pebbles, and I buried him up.
I looked out this see-through thing and saw the beautiful sunshine. I longed to be out there with my friends. The yellow flowers weren’t in my sight, but I could still feel the tasty nectar down my throat.
The big Hoomins stomped into the room. The big one gasped so loud that it nearly knocked me right over. “We guessed right!” she gasped. “The butterfly ate the cricket!” Rio’s big Haind immediately swept over to the box of crickets. They opened up the hole blocker of the weird box and at that exact moment, I dug Nightingale out of the hole and, grasping him tightly, I flew out of the weird box.
The Hoomins chased after us, yelling like crazy and making the ground quake. We swerved and dived and got to a see-through thing. Lucky for us, it was open. We flew out, and I landed safely in lush green grass. I let Nightingale go, and he collapsed on the ground.
“Did that work well?” Nightingale asked.
“I guess,” I answered breathlessly.
Without warning, the ground began to quake. The Hoomins were coming.
“Watch out!” I hissed at Nightingale.
“No,” Nightingale said, “I’m tired of flying. I feel sick.”
“Well, too late,” I said, and I grasped him once again and flew into the air.
“No!” Nightingale shouted as he wriggled and squirmed, trying to go free.
“Careful,” I warned him, but it was too late. He wriggled free and suddenly, he was falling through the air.
“No!” I screamed. I looked behind me and saw the Hoomins running at full speed, Rio holding the tangly thingy. Then, I looked down once again at the falling Nightingale, screaming in terror.
I dove down towards Nightingale. My wings gave me even more speed as the wind whipped around me and slowed me down. Mother’s flying lesson lectures echoed in my head, and I felt even more determined and sad than ever. I wondered what Nightingale was thinking. Probably thinking of hitting the ground and dying. That’s what I would’ve been thinking about if I were him. And then I did it. I caught Nightingale just before he hit the ground. The wind had tore off part of his left foreleg, and his eyelids were red and puffy from the pollen in the air. Mother said that some other animals were allergic to pollen. I mean, literally! What do they eat?!
My stomach felt so empty that I couldn’t stand it. But I kept going.
“Nightingale!” I yelled over the wind as I flew quickly, “Where do the crickets live?”
“I think they live under the Hoomins holes and habitats!” Nightingale yelled back.
I dove down towards the bottom of the Hoomins home and ducked under the front steps. Footsteps of the big Hoomins shook the ground as they came after us. The Hoomins stopped by our hiding spot. I shivered. Did the Hoomins know that we were here? Nightingale and I stood still.
“Where are they?” Rio demanded.
“Let’s continue looking,” the mom said.
The Hoomins ran off again and at that moment, two eyes appeared from the dark. There was something queer about them. A figure appeared. It was the outline of a cricket.
“Ah,” the cricket said, coming into view, “another cricket.”
He patted Nightingale and said, “I will take care of him. You may go now.”
I nodded and flew out from under the home of the Hoomins and headed in the direction of the yellow flower gardens.
I saw the yellow flower garden ahead, and I sped up, my wings flapping frantically. “Hi, Mother!” I shouted. Mother turned her head in surprise. Her wings flapped with joy as she hugged me tight.
She touched me delicately once more. “Where were you?” she asked softly.
“Somewhere,” I answered mysteriously. She smiled down at me.
“Whirl!” a shrill voice shouted. Murl flew up to me and gave me a big hug. “Curl and I have been looking for you all day!”
“Really?” I felt stunned. “Where’s Curl?”
“She’s looking for you at the other yellow flower garden. C’mon! Curl will be so happy to see you again!”
I smiled to myself. What a lucky butterfly I am, to have the family I’ve got. Murl pulled on my antenna, and I let her drag me to the other yellow flower garden.
Curl’s greeting was the same as Murl’s. A shrill shriek of “Whirl!” and then a big hug. They were twins, after all.
We chatted a bit until a comforting antenna patted me on the back. I turned around… and there was Twirl! “Twirl!” I cried.
“Hello,” Twirl said. “Where were you?”
“Somewhere,” I said in that same tone I used on Mother.
“Pearl said that you were captured by the Hoomins. She was worried sick!”
I laughed weakly. “Oh, silly Pearl. She’ll probably be so glad that I’m here.”
At that moment, a shaken Pearl rose from behind Twirl. “Oh, Twirl. Can you please help with the rescue mission? It’s sooo impor-” Pearl noticed me standing there and flew over. “You’re here!” she cried, “That means a party!”
“True,” Twirl said, giving me a reassuring smile “This calls for a party!”
“You look so skinny! Go get some of that nectar! You’re also stressed out. Take a rest before this party starts!” Pearl fussed with me for a little while.
“PAR-TAY!” Curl and Murl sang, “We’re going to have a PAR-TAY!”
I thought of the scary Hoomins. I changed my mind. I don’t want revenge anymore. They’re too scary for butterflies to deal with. Never ever will I put myself in trouble again and never will I put my family in any.
I felt dizzy with happiness. Not only did I meet my family again, but I’m going to have a party! This is the best return ever!