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The Ladybug Who Lost Her Spots

by Sophia Marie Sears 3 months ago in Fable
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Written for Mother's Day, Children's Literature, Fable

The Ladybug Who Lost Her Spots
Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

The sun soared high on a bright spring morning over Old Mrs. Arthemis’ garden.

She was a kind old lady, with curly white hair and a sweet smile, who loved to plant and grow all kinds of flowers. Her garden was the prettiest garden in the entire neighborhood, and all the children loved to visit when everything was in bloom.

Old Mrs. Arthemis grew yellow daffodils and purple irises, tall red roses and pink carnations. Tiny blue forget-me-nots covered cobblestones like blue moss and orange sunflowers towered over the green ferns and yellow tulips. She had placed delicate bird fountains and singing wind chimes all about, and many blue birds chirped and monarch butterflies fluttered by. Frogs croaked and bunnies hopped through the old lady’s blossoming bundles of herbs and flowers.

Amongst all the other critters in Old Mrs. Arthemis’ garden, there lived a prideful ladybug named Maggie. She always waited until the sun rose very high to start her day.

That morning, Maggie opened her sleepy eyes on her clover pillow and buzzed her wings like she always did. She shook off the little droplets of dew from her wings in a shower of diamonds. With another buzz of her wings, Maggie sprung off her clover pillow for her morning flight over Old Mrs. Arthemis garden.

The other critters were already awake, and Maggie raised her antennae at them all. None of them are prettier than me, she thought, for none of them have my fabulous spots!

As she flew past Miss Snake on her rock, Maggie ignored the serpent’s cheerful hiss of greeting. Maggie paid no attention to Monsieur Rabbit as he called out for her to watch him hop near his tree stump. She wouldn’t even pause to say good-day to Madam Carp swimming in her pond, or to Master Bullfrog on his lilypad!

Instead, the prideful ladybug happily buzzed over the other critters and along over the flowers in Old Mrs. Arthemis garden, flying to and fro. She imagined their jealous eyes upon her and felt a secret thrill. They must be wishing they had spots just like me! she thought.

That night when Maggie settled onto her clover pillow, she felt as pleased as she always had. Everyone must be dazzled by my beauty, she thought. They will be so happy to see my spots again tomorrow!

The next morning, Maggie heard Old Mrs. Arthemis humming as the old lady came to tend her garden. But the ladybug waited, like always, lightly dozing until she felt the sun shining high on her wings. Then she slowly opened her eyes… and gasped!

Every last one of her spots was gone! Her red wings still glistened brighter than the brightest ruby, that was true, but now there was no other hue!

“Oh no,” cried Maggie tearfully. “Where have my spots gone? Whatever shall I do?”

With a shaky buzz of her wings, Maggie bounced from her clover pillow into the air to start searching for her missing spots. Maggie looked high and low, under leaves and on top of trees, but could not find a single one…

When Maggie came to Miss Snake’s rock, the serpent was suntanning quietly in the warmth. “Miss Snake, have you seen my beautiful spots?” she asked.

“Sssss! Why would I want your spotssss?” Miss Snake nicely hissed. “I already have my zig-zagsss. Aren’t they pretty, sweetnesssss?”

Maggie buzzed her wings uncertainly. “I guess so.” She realized she had never really thought about it before.

Maggie next flew over to Monsieur Rabbit where he was heartily hopping around his tree stump. But he kindly stopped when Maggie buzzed closer.

“Monsieur Rabbit, have you seen my spots?” she asked.

“Squeak, squeak! Why would I have seen your spots?” Monsieur Rabbit asked. “I have fluffy fur— see? Is it not the softest fur you’ve ever felt, squeak?”

Maggie carefully landed on Monsieur Rabbit’s back, and his fur was the softest her toes had ever felt. “I suppose so,” she said. Maggie suddenly wished her clover pillow was just as soft.

Maggie then buzzed over the small creek that ran through Old Mrs. Arthemis’ garden to the fishpond. There were many tall reeds growing around the silvery blue water, and Maggie landed one of them to avoid the jeweled dragonflies zipping around. Master Bullfrog was sitting on his lilypad, eagerly catching flies with his long pink tongue.

“Master Bullfrog,” Maggie asked, “have you seen my spots?”

“Ribbet, ribbet!” croaked Master Bullfrog. “I wouldn’t care to. I love my warts more, ribbet!”

“They do look shiny,” Maggie agreed, and she was surprised to notice how brightly the wet purple warts shimmered in the sunlight. Her own spots had never shone nearly as bright.

A small splash almost got Maggie wet, herself, as Madam Carp took a splendid leap through the air and dove back into the fishpond.

“Madam Carp!” Maggie called. “Have you seen my spots?”

Madam Carp popped her head above the water. “Gurgle, gurgle,” she bubbled from her lips. “I am sorry, dearie. But I have scales, not spots. Aren’t they colorful, gurgle?”

Now Maggie did see how Madam Carp’s scales were every color under the rainbow— red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and even indigo.

“It seems so,” she said slowly. And Maggie felt strangely sad to realize she only had two— black and red.

As the sun passed the hour of noon, and early evening began, songful crickets began chirping. Tiny stars started peppering the dusky violet sky. Maggie’s wings drooped tiredly as she buzzed back to her clover patch.

Oh, where could my spots be? Maggie thought sadly. Her spots had once glowed blacker than the night, like beautiful black beads, but now they were gone! Would she ever find them again?

Maggie thought about Miss Snake, Monsieur Rabbit, Master Bullfrog, and Madame Carp. None of them had seen her spots. None of them had seemed to really miss them.

Maggie thought even harder. She did not think Old Mrs. Arthemis could have taken her spots. And the other critters did not seem to miss her spots… because they each loved their own pattern!

Miss Snake has her pretty zig-zags.

Monsieur Rabbit has his soft fur.

Master Bullfrog has his shiny warts.

Madam Carp has her colorful scales.

Maggie buzzed her wings and settled deeper into her clover pillow. Tomorrow, she would ask the other critters about her spots again– and this time, she would first praise their own wonderful patterns before asking them for help!

Maggie closed her eyes, and tried to fall asleep. She felt herself blink– only to hear Old Mrs. Arthemis humming loudly next to her clover patch again. Why was Mrs. Arthemis humming at night?

Maggie slowly blinked open her eyes– to see the sun was still high in the sky, and Old Mrs. Arthemis was back to pruning her roses! What was happening? Maggie looked down at her wings and buzzed excitedly.

Her spots were back! It had all been just a bad dream!

She must have fallen back asleep earlier that morning, she thought. But now, after her dream, Maggie knew she wasn’t the only one who was special or unique. Every animal has their own pattern, and humans too! And each pattern is beautiful.

With a happy buzz, Maggie bounded from her pillow. She flew joyfully over Old Mrs. Arthemis’ garden, and when she passed Miss Snake, Maggie cheerfully replied to the serpent’s hiss. She stayed to watch Monsieur Rabbit hop around his stump, and she said hello to Master Bullfrog and Madame Carp. To each of her new friends, she gave an invitation to a tea party later that evening.

And so, the proud ladybug learned the most important lesson of pride after all. That everyone has something to be proud about!

The End


***Postscript: I started this tale around Mother's Day for my mother, who is crazy about ladybugs and gardening! :) Please let me know what you think of this book for children's ages 6-8! Can you imagine the watercolor illustrations for this garden fable book? Is the moral carefully threaded throughout the entire tale?


About the author

Sophia Marie Sears

In every lifetime, I've been a writer: a humble scribe learning her craft, a sorceress learning her words, a venturing philosopher. I'm a full-time tutor in the Bay Area, and I'm currently trying to publish a full length Cinderella novel!

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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