Ron Leunissen and Nadine van Maasakker
“Kids, are you ready for another story about the old windmill and the butterfly?” asked old Nana Lou to all the little children gathered around her. As every night, they all sat in the cozy tree house of Dr M. ready for another bedtime story. “This time it’s going to be very exiting story, it’s even a little bit spooky.”
“I love spooky,” said little Boo.
“I’m sure you do pumpkin, but now let me begin the story.”
Today our little butterfly wanted to fly far, very far. She was getting ready for today’s journey.
“Whereto today, dear wind?” she asked.
“Well my little friend,” said the wind, “today there’s a big storm coming so it’s wise to stay close to home.”
“But, I want to fly! There’s so much to discover still!”
“I know darling, you’ll have enough time for all the upcoming adventures, but today you’ll have to stay close to the windmill. That’s not very adventurous, but it has to be this way now.”
The butterfly said angrily, “I don’t want that! If I can’t fly far, then I’ll just stay put here, right on this sail here.”
“Do what you want,” said the wind, “but if you want to go a little bit farther, just let me know.”
The little butterfly sat sulking on the sail.
“My dear friend,” said the old windmill, “I know you don’t like it, but that’s just how things can go in life.”
“But, you want to see the world through my eyes,” said the butterfly, “now I will have to disappoint you. Come on old friend, the wind is your best friend, couldn’t you ask him to take me away anyway?”
“No,” said the windmill sweetly yet firmly, “if the wind gives you good advice, you better follow it. During a storm thunder and lighting rule. They let the wind rant. You’d better come in now and fly to my attic. There you can watch the storm safely through a crack in the wood work.”
“It can’t be that bad,” said the butterfly, “you’re not moving, are you?”
“I can’t move, that’s true, but I’m heavy and well anchored. You on the contrary are light as a feather and wouldn’t survive a storm without any shelter. Please do come in now.”
“No,” said the butterfly, “I’ll just fly on my own then.”
The butterfly flew away as fast as she could. But she didn’t fly as fast as she’d wish because she missed the wind’s aid. She flapped her wings as hard as she could and got to the nearby hedge. Exhausted she said, “this can’t be the end already?”
The old windmill watched it all worried.
“Don’t worry,” said the wind, “I’ll keep an eye on her. Let her find out her own way.”
After a little rest the butterfly flew off the hedge again. This time the wind helped her, first a little and then more and more.
“What’s this now?” said the butterfly, “normally you blow ever so gently, but now you’re blowing harder and harder. I’m not sure I like this.”
“This is just the beginning of the storm,” said the wind, “it’s going to get much worse. You have to find shelter soon. I can’t help you now much longer, I’ve got another job to do. I’ll bring you to a place where you can wait until the storm is over.”
“I’ll do it my self,” the butterfly said and she flew in the direction of an old house.
It got dark and the storm got worse. The butterfly saw a flash of lighting and shortly after that the thunder rolled through the sky.
“Oh my, what should I do?” said the butterfly.
A big blast threw the butterfly against the wall of the house. Luckily she wasn’t hurt. She looked around and saw a hole in the glass window. Quickly she flew inside the house. Outside the storm raged, the wind whistled through the cracks in the walls.
“I’m inside now, I’m safe,” the butterfly said to herself, “but where am I? It’s so dark here, much darker than outside.” She opened her eyes as wide as possible but it still was dark. There was a musty smell in the house and it was quite damp.
“Come on, you don’t have to be afraid,” said the butterfly to encourage herself. Carefully she flew forward through the dark and got into another room.
A lighting flash put the whole room in a bright light briefly. In a corner the butterfly saw something. It was looking at her. She trembled of fear and her wings were almost paralyzed. She wanted to shout but wasn’t able to. Quickly she landed. Meanwhile the wind howled around the house.
The butterfly looked at the strange greyish thing. This was the strangest thing she had ever seen. It was big and broad, with big bulging eyes that seemed to come straight at her. Long antennas seemed to try to touch her.
“If this things gets me, I’m lost,” she said to herself, “if only I stayed with the old windmill this wouldn’t be happening to me.”
The butterfly moved her wings carefully hoping for a quick escape. The strange thing in front of her moved too. As the little butterfly moved her antennas, the strange creature moved the antennas too. Everything the butterfly did, was copied by the creature.
“What’s this now,” yelled the butterfly angrily, “are you imitating me? Are you making a fool out of me? Who do you think you are?” But before she could do or say anything more, there suddenly was a squeaky sound on the stairs. The butterfly hid in a dark corner and waited for what would happen.
“Let’s see if that thing is still here,” said the old man while entering the room. “Hopefully I can sell this old funhouse mirror soon. Well see this now, the wind has made the covering sheet fall to the floor.” The old man looked at his distorted reflection in the funhouse mirror and said to him self with a hoarse voice, “if I’d see something like this unexpectedly in a storm, it would scare the life out of me.” He laughed as he rearranged the sheet over the mirror and left the room.
The little butterfly came out of her hiding place.
“So I was watching the distorted reflection of myself in a funhouse mirror. I was the combination with the storm and the lighting that scared me.” She flew back to the broken window and once outside the wind took her back to the old windmill.
“Oh my little friend,” said the windmill, “are you all right? I’ve been so worried about you. It was such a heavy storm. I’m so glad to see back again.”
“Dear windmill, I’m so sorry I’ve put you through all this, but luckily I’m all okay,” said the butterfly. Then she told him the whole story and the windmill listened with full attention.
“Yes,” said the windmill at last, “your stubbornness made you discover something new about yourself: your courage. Despite your fear you still explored the old house and confronted the scary strange creature.”
“Well, I won’t forget this easily,” said the butterfly, “it was quite an adventure. I’ll go and rest now. Who knows what tomorrow will bring us.”
Nana Lou watched the little faces of the children. They had been listening breathless.
“Come on darlings, time to go to sleep now, tomorrow will bring us new adventures undoubtedly.”
The little ones went to their beds quietly and dreamed that night of the butterfly and the old house.
“That wasn’t scary at all,” said little Boo to him self as he went back to Mama Boo.