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Rated: E · Short Story · Children's · #2061742
Bella the Butterfly is starting at her new school in the country.
Bella sighed heavily as she gathered her things together for the first day at her new bug school. She fluttered down through the tree house where her Mother was sat at the kitchen table feeding her little brother Ben, who was still only a caterpillar. Bella slumped down in the chair opposite them.

“Morning darling,” chirped her Mum, “What’s the matter? You look very gloomy today.”

Bella sighed again and rolled her eyes, “Of course I’m gloomy!” She said, “It’s the first day of school today.” Bella had been dreading the day ever since they had moved to the country at the start of the summer. They used to live in a big garden with a glass house in the suburbs but when Bella’s Dad had got his new job working in an apple orchard many miles away, they had had to relocate their home. Bella missed the old garden and all the bright, pretty flowers and her friends Zack and Buzz who lived in the beehive. Since they had moved to the forest, she had only met one bee and he had been old and cranky and had never even heard of “Pollen Wars”, the game she always played with her old friends.

Her mother smiled sympathetically at Bella as she put some apple slices and honey on her plate.

“Don’t worry darling,” she said kindly, “Everything will be great at your new school. You’re a beautiful, smart and funny girl and I just know you will make lots of new friends.”

But Bella was not so sure. At her old school, she might have been beautiful but here, she was different. She knew, because she had seen the other butterfly children playing outside or flitting past the window – here, they were all pale green or blue, sometimes with black and yellow spots or streaks. They were country butterflies and she would stick out like a sore thumb. She just knew that they would make fun of her and wouldn’t want to be her friends.

Finishing her breakfast, she kissed her Mother and Ben good bye and headed towards the door with a heavy heart. Before she left, she gazed at herself in the mirror in the hallway. The bright pink and purple spots and stripes on her black wings seemed ever more vibrant today. “Have a great day, sweetie,” her Mother called after her, “Love you!”

Bella flew to school slowly, hoping she wouldn’t run in to any other children on the way. When she arrived, everyone seemed to be outside playing in the yard, waiting for the morning bell that would mean the start of lessons. Bella flew in to a corner of the yard, trying not to be noticed. She pretended to be writing something in her notebook so that nobody would catch her eye.

After a while however, she felt as though someone was staring at her. When she looked up, she saw a group of girls a few yards away, whispering and pointing at her. Feeling embarrassed, she turned away but only to see another small group of children staring at her. Bella began to cry. Seeing she was upset, a teacher – who was an elderly ant wearing glasses over her eyes, on top of her head and around her neck – hurried over and put her arm around Bella.

“Dear child!” She exclaimed, “Whatever is the matter? Are you new here? I don’t think I have seen your face before.” The teacher smiled warmly.

“Y…yes…” Stammered Bella, “It’s my first day today. My family moved to the country in the summer. My Dad works at the orchard.”

“A fine job to have! Well I am Mrs Crumb. I will be one of your new teachers. I teach maths, and running.” Bella sniffed and looked at the ant. She didn’t seem like she would be able to run very far, but then Bella did not know many ants. “Now,” the teacher continued, “Do you want to tell me what this is all about?”

Bella looked up at the other children in the yard. They were still staring at her. “Everyone’s staring at me Miss, they’re making fun of me!” Bella started to sob again.

“Now, now, we can’t have that, can we? Belinda! Come here please!” Mrs Crumb shouted and beckoned to one of the girls who had been whispering. Her wings were slightly bigger than Bella’s and a pale green colour with no markings. She sauntered over and stood in front of them.

“Now Belinda – I hope you and your friends are not being unkind to our new student? That kind of behaviour will not be tolerated at this school as you know very well!”

Belinda looked shocked. “Oh, no, Mrs Crumb!” She cried out, “We weren’t making FUN of her. We were saying how beautiful she looks!” Belinda slid a glance at Bella and she blushed. “We….we have never seen a butterfly with those colours before. I wish I had colours like yours,” she said, coyly. Suddenly the other children were crowding round Bella, touching her wings and saying how beautiful they were, how they had never seen a butterfly who looked so different or so amazing, asking her where she came from and marvelling when she told them she used to live in a City.

“What’s it like Bella?”

“Did you ever go inside a human house?”

“What do they eat in the City?”

“Have you ever seen a dog? Were you scared?”

The questions came thick and fast and Bella laughed, her tears drying up as she tried to answer them all.

Then she heard a quiet buzzing noise at her shoulder which sounded familiar to her. She turned round and saw a bee, about her age although a little taller. He was cute.

“Hey, I’m Zip,” he said with a smile, “Want to play “Pollen Wars” with me?”

978 words

(Written for "The Butterfly Contest)

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