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Excerpt for The Butterfly Gang by , available in its entirety at Smashwords




The Butterfly Gang

By Ariel McCurdy


Published by Minky Imaginations

ISBN 978-0-9939328-1-6



Cover Picture MHNT dos CC BY-SA 3.0 Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Edited by Louis Merriew Diemer IV



Copyright 2018 Ariel McCurdy



Table of Contents



Chapter 1 The Girls


Chapter 2 Where the Butterfly Starts


Chapter 3 Whispers can be Kind


Chapter 4 The Wind is your Friend


Chapter 5 Fly Day #1


Chapter 6 Cat Magic


Chapter 7 The Ocean


Chapter 8 The Butterfly Ball


Chapter 9 Sandhill


Chapter 10 Crazy Caterpillars


Chapter 11 The Eye of the Storm


Chapter 12 Garden Day


Chapter 13 El Rosario


Chapter 14 I'm a Butterfly








Chapter 1 ~ The Girls


Everyone knows that if you see one butterfly fly by you're going to see another one fly by in just a second. That's because butterflies fly in a gang: it's one of only a few Universal Rules. You know the Rules of the Universe: if there is a down, there must be an up, day or night, the moon and sun....and so on.


This is the story about how the first Butterfly Gang formed. The adventure that lays in the pages now in front of you tells the story of how the Butterfly Gang Rule came to be. No matter what the world has seen, felt, and heard, the Rule has been so since.


Three butterfly girls were the best of friends, always frolicking about the many gardens they flew into, touching every sweet beautiful flower they could, and laughing at the pure happiness of life. They went about their days with the sun gleaming on their wings, the wind in their hair, and the fragrance of pure joy all around them.


Daphne was the sweetest of the girls, always smiling, concerned, joyful, humorous, excited, and always planning many events at the same time. She was in charge of the Butterfly Ball, The Winter Butterfly Ball, The Caterpillar Parade, The Caterpillar Bazaars, The Vegetarian Spider Club, The Lost Caterpillar Society, the Butterfly Memorial, and many, many more. She did everything perfectly all the time. But Daphne also got along with every insect and bug in the world, friend or foe. She actually started The Vegetarian Spider Club and recruited twenty spiders her first day. She found them to be dreadfully misunderstood and said they taught her the most amazing knitting ever. The Spiders apparently were proper, drank tea, and knitted all day.


Mariposa was a very scholarly butterfly, always in school getting a degree. She had some of the most adorable traits. Anytime she came across a situation that required great thought she would always say "There is a saying for that in Spanish" and proceed to tell you the saying. Always, great wisdom followed. Mariposa was a bit shyer and reserved than the other girls, but she had great spirit and never gave up on anything. She was naturally inquisitive, and always wanted to know more, a gentle soul, who never gave up on anything or anyone.


Ariel, the most stubborn of the butterfly girls, was always flying and touching flowers, smelling their aroma, dancing around, and looking at the sparkle of life. She had this innocence to her which made her very childlike and playful, but she was stubborn. She knew more history about the butterflies than any of the girls and was more than delighted to share it all. Ariel went about her days being playful and determined. Highly competitive, she would race her own shadow to the nearest garden if she had to. But she was tough, loyal, and dependable.




















Chapter 2 ~ Where the Butterfly Starts


A boy butterfly hadn’t been seen in 158 years, and it was rumored that they were all gone. Boy butterflies were blue, so it wasn't that they were hard to spot, they just hadn't been seen at all in 158 years!


The butterfly ancestors told many stories passing them down through the generations, stories that carried tales of caution and hope - stories that the butterflies were supposed to keep telling.


As it was, one-day Ariel raced a man on a bike to her favorite garden, and she flew into the garden so delighted that she had beaten him! As she fluttered over to her favorite shady spot she landed and was curiously met by a blue butterfly. Could it be? She decided she wouldn’t say anything; maybe she hadn’t had enough nectar for the day and was imagining things. So, she casually sat and rested, feeling the wind cool down her wings.


“Hhuh hummm,” said the blue butterfly.


Ariel, in disbelief in hearing the blue butterfly speak, walked straight up to him ever so curiously and touched him once on the wing, poking him.


“Ouwwwch, why’d ya do that?” said the butterfly, rubbing the spot that had been poked.


“Youuuuuu’re real?!” said Ariel with great excitement.


“Of course I am.”


“Youuuu’re BLUE!” said Ariel with even more enthusiasm.


“You're a quick one aren't you missy.” said the blue butterfly.


“I’m not Missy, I’m Ariel.”


“Well, I know you aren't Missy, the statistical probability of you being Missy and me just saying it is five hundred trillion divided by the fifth dimension and squared by time... n… n... never mind.”


“What's your name?” asked Ariel.


“Tad”


“T-aaaaaaaa-dddddd.” repeated Ariel.


“No, just Tad. Not T-aaaaaaaa-ddddd.”


“Td.” said Ariel, trying again.


“No, T-A-D, not fast, not slow, just Tad.”


“Tad,” said Ariel saying it correctly.


“Yes”


“What an unusual name, how'd you get it?” asked Ariel.


“Well, you see, all the blue butterflies before me in my family had the same name, and we were given nicknames since our name is so very long. It's Louis


George Henry William Charles Robert Arthur Matthew Thomas. And I am Louis George Henry William Charles Robert Arthur Matthew Thomas the IV.”


“Say it real fast five times,” said Ariel with a big smile.


“Noooahh”


“Do it, I bet I can, Louis George Henry William Charles Robert Arthur Matthew Thomas the IV, George Henry William Charles Robert Arthur Matthew Thomas…Louis”


“No, stop. Please.” Interrupted Tad.


“Then shouldn’t we call you LGHWCRAMT the fourth? Lghwcramt the fourth, I like it. Lghwcraaaaamt the fourth, lllllllllghwwramttttt.”


“Why would you call me that?”


“Makes more sense than Taaaaaaaaad”


“You're doing this on purpose aren't you?” asked Tad.


Ariel just smiled, almost like a cat.


“What are you doing in my garden?” she asked.


“I’m lost Ariel. I ended up in this garden and I can’t get to where I’m going.”


“Where are you going?” asked Ariel.


“That’s just it, I don’t know. I know I’m supposed to go somewhere, but I don’t know where.”


“Oh, well don’t be silly Tad. That’s easy. All the butterflies fly south now. We go meet the rest of our family and friends who are waiting for us in El Rosario.”


“How are you going to get there? Where is it? Do you have a map? And who is ‘we’?”


“Don’t be silly, we’re gonna fly.”


“YOU’RE GOING TO F-L-Y?”


Flapping her wings so gently. She said, “Of course.”


“It’s sooooo far; by my calculations 'taking out a pen and paper' "That's five thousand human miles times a butterfly wing… Ten trillion butterfly-miles.” Tad looked up in astonishment…


Ariel, knowing how easy the trip was started to think Tad couldn’t fly...and that’s why he couldn’t believe it. And he should have known what all the butterflies know, they all know they go to El Rosario and they all know how to get there... ALL butterflies.



























Chapter 3 ~ Whispers Can Be Kind


Mariposa and Daphne came fluttering in at full speed, giggling with every twist in the wind. They landed in complete astonishment.


Daphne whispered to Mariposa, “Don’t move, pretend you are invisible.”


They stood at attention, shut their eyes and pretended to be invisible...


Keeping both eyes closed, “Do you think it sees us Daphne?” Mariposa whispered in a Spanish accent.


Barely opening one eye to peak Daphne said, “I don’t know, go poke it.”


“NO, I ammm not going to poke anything.”


The butterflies shimmied over to Ariel, “Ariel, is it really? Is it a BLUE Butter – f – l – y?” asked Daphne.


“Oh yes, oh yes oh yes oh yesssss. Tell ‘em your name,” answered Ariel.


“Tad”


“No, not that one. The other one!” said Ariel.


Tad being the nice blue butterfly he was, sighed gently and said ever so formally, “I am Louis George Henry William Charles Robert Arthur Matthew Thomas the IV, it is my pleasure to meet your acquaintance.”


“But we should call him Lghwcramt the IV,” said Ariel.


“No you shouldn’t, no no – don’t listen to her... Tad is, Tad, call me Tad...”


Daphne and Mariposa, now getting over their initial disbelief, both loosened up their wings and slowly walked toward him, turning their heads in astonishment at the first sighting of a blue butterfly in ONE HUNDRED and FIFTY-EIGHT YEARS.


Tad, being a little nervous at their complete curiosity, stepped back with a little hesitation. He gently fluttered his wings rapidly and nervously. They walked straight up to him and touched his antennae with their antennae, he flinched stepping back and asked, “What are you, what are you doing?”


With the tilt of a head and the most chirpy and happy voice you ever heard, Daphne said, “The Butterfly Greeting,” adding a small laugh at the end. “Don’t you know it?”


Mariposa, raising her eyebrow and tilting her head, said, “You know, the greeting.”


Ariel couldn't wait to share what she had found out and said, “Tad doesn’t know anything, he’s lost. He can’t even fly.”


“That’s not TRUE!” protested Tad.


Ariel walked over and put her foot down in a display of stubbornness, saying sharply, “Show us - FLY.” And she stretched out her wing as if she were welcoming the sky to him.


Tad, knowing he came from master blue butterflies, knew he could not lie. Putting his head down he practically whispered, “Okay, I don’t know how to fly. I can’t fly; in fact, I don’t know how to be a butterfly at all. All I know is I came from master blue butterflies, and I can’t even fly.”


Master butterflies are special, any butterfly could be a master – but you had to want to master being a butterfly, you weren't just born with it. It required great discipline, humbleness, and the heart of a champion.


The girls, feeling so sad for Tad, went to whisper in the corner. They had a predicament on their wings. They couldn’t leave the only blue butterfly to be seen in 158 years alone, not knowing how to be a butterfly. Feeling so bad for him Mariposa said, “Oh, we cannot leave him here, it would be wrong, just plain wrong. I can’t, I just can’t. We cannot leave him, we have to take him.”


“Oh Mariposa, I agree. What do you think Ariel?”


“Can I keep him as a pet?” answered Ariel.


Daphne easily caught on to Ariel’s mischief, she smiled so big and bright and laughed out, “It was a good try Ariel, but no, you cannot keep him as a pet. But it would be a great show-and-tell if you could.”


Tad, looking very uneasy at their little meeting in the corner, wondered what they could be whispering about, he tapped his foot and cleared his throat in an effort to get their attention.


“You go tell him Ariel, you met him first. Tell him he is to come with us to El Rosario.” Mariposa gently pushed Ariel towards Tad and Ariel announced:


“Louis George Henry William Charles Robert Arthur Matthew Thomas the IV, we will be taking you to El Rosario and teaching you how to be a butterfly on the way.” Ariel leaned over and whispered, “And you are now my pet.”


Tad, not hearing said “What?”


Again, Ariel leaned over and whispered even faster, “Ur my pet, shhh.”


Daphne hearing this laughed and grabbed Ariel and told Tad, “Don't worry. She's kidding, you're fine. You are not her pet, welcome.”


Tad thought how grateful he was that he had found his three new friends and that they weren't going to just leave him in a strange garden not knowing how to be a butterfly. They were going to help, so he wouldn't be lost. It was the first lesson in many lessons to come on this journey – Whispers Can Be Kind.


























Chapter 4 ~ The Wind Is Your Friend


Some butterflies are fighter jets, they learn to fly the minute the sun first touches their wings and others not until the sun touches their wings the second time. But this, this was unheard of - no flying, ever?


The girls looked at each other. How do we do this, how do we teach him to fly? They just knew - you fly. Ariel was doing pirouettes next to a lilac saying, “Fly, fly,” flapping her wings after each pirouette.


Daphne stretched her wings did some warm-up flutters and embarked on the hardest task of the day, “Now Tad, the idea when you fly is to go where the wind carries you.”


“But how do I get to where I'm going if I let the wind carry me to where it’s going?”


“Well, the wind is everywhere right?” said Daphne.


“Yeah” said Tad.


“And it can’t be stopped or captured or made into stillness, so if it’s everywhere all you have to do is open your wings and embrace the wind." instructed Daphne.


“Embrace the wind? Seems hard since you can’t touch it.”


“You can’t not touch it. Look.” And as Daphne opened her wings to take flight you could hear a million of her scales being gently blown by the wind sounding like a million wind chimes all in sequence singing a song together. Daphne shut her eyes and let the wind carry her, just like she said it would, and she flew.


Tad stretched awkwardly as if it were the first time he had ever stretched, he fluttered his wings with anticipation and excitement that was hard to contain. He walked to where Daphne had been standing, opened his wings and nothing... He looked around and asked why he couldn’t hear his scales sing a song.


Mariposa inspected his wings and scales, making sure nothing was wrong with them. “It's you Tad.” she said.


“My wings are open - I’m ready.”


“No, you need to trust that the wind is going to carry you, when you know that the wind is going to carry you to wherever you need to go – you will fly, and the wind will know.”


Tad looked about with his wings on his hips, thinking about how to trust the wind. He had never seen it, didn't think he could touch it, and now he had to t-r-u-s-t the wind. And then he realized, he touched the wind every time it blew, when he was outside, or seeking shelter under a flower petal, he was always touching the wind. And he did see it, he saw the wind when the leaves blew, or the grass waivered, and when the butterflies flew. At that moment his scales started to gently flutter, and the most beautiful sound ever was made. The sound of a million wind chimes all in sequence singing a song was heard. And Tad flew.


“Ohhh, I, I, I, I’m FLYING!” And he smiled the biggest smile he had ever smiled. And who would have thought, Tad was one of the butterflies who was a fighter jet – a real master at flying – a true natural.


The girls were so excited and pleased with themselves and each other, and they all smiled their own smiles too. They had a new friend, and they all had helped him. Tad flew in the air, zipping around the corners of flowers in the garden, a birdhouse in a tree, two hummingbirds having a conversation in the air, and he buzzed a honey bee – nearly scaring the honey out of him. He realized: the wind is my friend; it’s going to take me where I’m going.



































Chapter 5 ~ Fly Day #1


The girls all flew over to Tad once he had landed and told him it was time to leave before it got too dark. They were starting their trip to El Rosario to meet up with their friends and family. They decided they would fly to the place where there were no street lights when the sun went down. To the edge of the city. Their cousins, the Moths loved to fly around street lights, most butterflies didn't understand their cousins the Moths and why they were so interested in street lights? It made no sense to the butterflies.


They flew together over homes, schools, parks, gardens, and back alleyways. Tad looked about and saw a hawk, then a blue jay, a blackbird that had red spots like shoulder pads on its wings. A seagull flew by and said, “Good day” in an English accent. The ladies all tipped their wings and said, “Good day, Mr. Gull.” Tad couldn't believe it, all these new experiences were happening so quickly. But he felt safe and was more excited and curious about what his eyes had seen than anything else. What a wonderful adventure this was already.


Then Tad wondered, what should he look out for, what’s dangerous? “Ariel, what’s dangerous for the butterfly, what should we look out for?”


“Oh, don’t you worry about that,” she answered.


“Why? I think I should know what could be harmful.”


“Well, you see. Butterflies are poisonous to most things – so they don’t dare eat us, we taste just awful. And Daphne makes friends with all the creatures of life, so you will never be in harm's way, and I’ve never seen another butterfly have that quality, so make sure she is near you. And well… Mariposa she hypnotizes CATS.”


“What does she do to caterpillars?” asked Tad.


“No no. Cats. You’ll never meet a cat that doesn’t love her. They fall to her wings and purr like kittens, it’s the most ridiculous thing you have ever seen. They are all so charmed by her… I think it's her Spanish accent, I think they think she is purring too.”


“What about you Ariel?”


“You see, I'm not scared of anything. So, if we might come upon some situation where Mariposa's charm and Daphne's colorful self can't help, I won't be scared. I'll fight a dinosaur if I have to. You can't take the fight out of me...”


As the sun set it painted the sky pink with streaks of white and blue and diamonds sparkled from faraway places; they flew into a garden that the girls had stayed before. The girls picked their flowers to sleep in immediately. Daphne pointed out a nice one for Tad, it was lightly fragranced and comfy. They ate some milkweed, told some butterfly stories and looked up at the night sky.


To a butterfly, the sky is alive at night. They see stars that are blue, green, purple, red, yellow, and pink making unique formations. The stars group together forming constellations that are made from all the butterflies that came before them. Mariposa looked up and saw the constellation of her ancestors. It glowed brightly and then dimmed and then brightly again, and so on, as did all the other constellations. The girls all lay in their flower beds looking up with great comfort, feeling the constellations looking back at them too.


Tad looked at the girls, then the sky, then back to the girls, back to the sky… “What are you looking at?” he asked.


Mariposa answered, “The constellations of our ancestors, which one is yours?”


A bit confused he looked up again and he saw nothing. Wondering if he should tell them. But Mariposa saw his face. His face was so sad, and she knew – he saw nothing.


“There is a saying in Spanish for that. No hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver. The worst blindness is the one who doesn’t want to see.” said Mariposa.


“Why don’t I see it?”


“Have you ever looked before, knowing what you were looking for? Or did you just look up?”


“I just looked up.”


“Well, you are looking at the butterflies in your family that came before you, and you come from master butterflies, so it shouldn’t be hard to see. Now, look within yourself and what do you see?”



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