| Among the Meadow People|
|by Clara Dillingham Pierson|
|Delightful stories of field life for young children, relating incidents in the lives of birds, insects, and other small creatures who make the meadow their home. Each chapter features the story of one animal in its daily activities and interactions with the other animals inhabiting the meadow. Ages 5-7 |
 AS the warm August days came, Mr. Yellow Butterfly wriggled
and pushed in his snug little green chrysalis and wished he
could get out to see the world. He remembered the days when
he was a hairy little Caterpillar, crawling slowly over
grass and leaves, and he remembered how beautiful the sky
and all the flowers were. Then he thought of the new wings
which had been growing from his back, and he
 tried to move
them, just to see how it would feel. He had only six legs
since his wings grew, and he missed all the sticky feet
which he had to give up when he began to change into a
The more he thought about it the more he squirmed, until
suddenly he heard a faint little sound, too faint for larger
people to hear, and found a tiny slit in the wall of his
chrysalis. It was such a dainty green chrysalis with white
wrinkles, that it seemed almost a pity to have it break.
Still it had held him for eight days already and that was as
long as any of his family ever hung in the chrysalis, so it
was quite time for it to be torn open and left empty. Mr.
Yellow Butterfly belonged to the second brood that had
hatched that year and he wanted to be out while the days
were still fine and hot. Now he crawled out of the
newly-opened doorway to take his first flight.
Poor Mr. Butterfly! He found his wings
 so wet and crinkled
that they wouldn't work at all, so he had to sit quietly in
the sunshine all day drying them. And just as they got big,
and smooth, and dry, it grew dark, and Mr. Butterfly had to
crawl under a leaf to sleep.
The next morning, bright and early, he flew away to visit
the flowers. First, he stopped to see the Daisies by the
roadside. They were all dancing in the wind, and their
bright faces looked as cheerful as anyone could wish. They
were glad to see Mr. Butterfly, and wished him to stay all
day with them. He said: "You are very kind, but I really
couldn't think of doing it. You must excuse my saying it,
but I am surprised to think you will grow here. It is very
dusty and dry, and then there is no shade. I am sure I could
have chosen a better place."
The Daisies smiled and nodded to each other, saying, "This is
the kind of place we were made for, that's all."
 Mr. Butterfly shook his head very doubtfully, and then bade
them a polite "Good-morning," and flew away to call on the
The Cardinals are a very stately family, as everybody knows.
They hold their heads very high, and never make deep bows,
even to the wind, but for all that they are a very pleasant
family to meet. They gave Mr. Butterfly a dainty lunch of
honey, and seemed much pleased when he told them how
beautiful the river looked in the sunlight.
"It is a delightful place to grow," said they.
"Ye-es," said Mr. Butterfly, "it is very pretty, still I do
not think it can be healthful. I really cannot understand
why you flowers choose such strange homes. Now, there are
the Daisies, where I just called. They are in a dusty, dry
place, where there is no shade at all. I spoke to them about
it, and they acted quite uppish."
 "But the Daisies always do choose such places," said the
"And your family," said Mr. Butterfly, "have lived so long
in wet places that it is a wonder you are alive. Your color
is good, but to stand with one's roots in water all the
time! It is shocking."
"Cardinals and Butterflies live differently," said the
Mr. Butterfly left the river and flew over to the woods. He
was very much out of patience. He was so angry that his
feelers quivered, and now you know how angry he must have
been. He knew that the Violets were a very agreeable family,
who never put on airs, so he went at once to them.
He had barely said "Good-morning" to them when he began to
explain what had displeased him.
"To think," he said, "what notions some flowers have! Now
you have a
 pleasant home here in the edge of the woods. I
have been telling the Daisies and the Cardinals that they
should grow in such a place,
but they wouldn't listen to me.
The Daisies were quite uppish about it, and the Cardinals
were very stiff."
"My dear friend," answered a Violet, "they could never live
if they moved up into our neighborhood. Every flower has his
own place in this world, and is happiest in that place.
Everything has its own place and its own work, and every
flower that is wise will stay in the place for which it was
intended. You were exceedingly kind to want to help the
flowers, but suppose they had been telling you what to do.
Suppose the Cardinals had told you that flying around was
not good for your health, and that to be truly well you
ought to grow planted with your legs in the mud and water."
"Oh!" said Mr. Butterfly, "Oh! I
 never thought of that.
Perhaps Butterflies don't know everything."
"No," said the Violet, "they don't know everything, and you
haven't been out of your chrysalis very long. But those who
are ready to learn can always find someone to tell them.
Won't you eat some honey?"
And Mr. Butterfly sipped honey and was happy.
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