Nana Lou tells the story of The little Butterfly and the Old House

The butterfly and the old houseButterfly_old_house_front

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.

butterfly_old_house_inside

“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.

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Nana tells an old Dutch fairy tale

It’s early in the evening when Nana’s sitting under the tree house of Dr M with all the Burgeron children gathered around her. Even little Boo has come to listen to the story Nana is about to tell.

Nana’s a great story teller. Her digital stories are known to many people all around the world. So now be silent and listen to Nana tell the story of …

THE OLD WINDMILL AND THE LITTLE BUTTERFLY

Once upon a time there was an old windmill that stood on its spot as long as the people could remember. The miller was very proud of his mill that was made by hand by his forefathers. No other windmill in the county could grind as fine as this one. From all over the county the farmers brought their corn to the miller.

The old windmill was taken care of very well; an extra coat of paint in due time, some varnish on the sails, a good clean of the mill stone; no efforts were spared in order to keep the windmill in good shape.

The miller dreamed of the moment that he could pass on his windmill to his eldest son, who was about to get married and who would continue the miller’s work with much love.

But it wasn’t just the miller who dreamed. The windmill itself dreamed too. How much would he like to explore the wide world, to look upon the earth from way above, to make long journeys and have many adventures.

“Oh yes, how much I would like to do all that,” sighed the old windmill.

“Where’s that sigh coming from?” whispered the wind. The wind was the oldest friend of the mill. Over many years the sails had been dancing in full harmony to the wind. Even when it stormed and when the wind played a rough game upon the sails, they caught the blows without any complaints.

“My old friend, you’ve known me for such a long time already and yet you have no knowledge of my deepest wish?”

“What would that be then, dear windmill? Nobody can grind as well as you. You’re being well taken care of and soon you’ll get a new boss who’s bragging about you to his friends already.”

“That’s all true, but I want to fly!”

“To fly?” said the wind, “but, why?”

“I want to see the world. I hear the birds whistle and tell each other all kind of stories when they fly by. At times I’m lucky when they take a short break on one of my sails, and then I hear a little bit more of their story. But mostly it’s all just small parts of the whole thing and it’s just like a patchwork blanket without any color to me.”

“Oh my dear old friend, maybe I can be of help to you. I can’t let you fly, but maybe there’s another way to get to know more about the world. Tomorrow is a new day, let’s just see what it’ll bring to you.”

At dawn the old windmill felt a breeze caressing its sails. The wind put a small, fluffy thing on a sail, a thing unknown to the mill. After a couple of days, on a sunny day, the cocoon – for that was what the wind had put on the sail – opened up, and a beautiful colorful butterfly got out. She was more beautiful than anything the windmill had seen before.

“Welcome my little friend,” said the windmill, “let me be your home.”

“Where am I, who are you?”

“I’m an old windmill and you’re on one of my sails.”

“Oh,” said the butterfly while looking around. “Sorry, but I have to be off now, I have to fly.”

“Please little butterfly, don’t leave me. I’m standing here for more than one hundred years, always on the same spot. I see nothing of the world beyond the fields and the little town. Couldn’t you go into the world for me, and return every evening filled with stories and adventures and share those with me? Couldn’t you be my eyes to the world?”

“But, I can’t fly that far in one day,” said the butterfly.

 

WindmillButterflyStory_800pxThe windmill looked sadly at the butterfly. Would his dream be nothing but a dream after all? The windmill was too occupied with his grieve to notice that the wind had returned.

“Fear not my friend,” said the wind, “I’ll lift this darling creature every day farther than she could have flown on her own strength. I’ll lift her way high into the sky, and will fly with her over clouds and rainbows. When she gets tired, I’ll bring her back, every night, to you my dear old pal.”

“Then it’s okay,” said the little butterfly, “old windmill, I’ll be your window to the world and thus we will have many adventures together.”

And so it went. Every morning the little butterfly was taken by the wind to faraway places, and was brought back to the windmill when the sun went down. The windmill listened to all the stories eagerly and lived through all adventures with such intensity that it could have been his own adventures.

Weeks passed and summer became autumn.

On a warm day the butterfly landed on a sail and said “dear old windmill, the world is such a great adventure, and many adventures we’ve lived through. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I did.”

“What do you mean, my friend?”

“I feel my eyes getting blurry and my wings getting stiff. Even when the wind is ever so gentle with me, there still will be a time that I will make my last journey and become as one with the wind.”

“But, I’ll miss you!” said the windmill.

“I will miss you too, old friend. I’d love to have a place to rest where you’d know where I am, and where you might even see me once in a while. But all that is not in our hands.”

The butterfly said farewell to the windmill and the windmill waved a last goodbye with his slowly turning sails. The wind lifted the butterfly with its weary body and took it to the meadow nearby.

In the green grass of the meadow stood a beautiful young woman.

“How lucky I am,” she whispered to herself, “to get to live here with the love of my life.”

The young wife of the miller’s son looked up and saw the little butterfly approaching. She lifted her hand and the butterfly landed gently on her finger.

“How beautiful you are, and how nice of you to visit me on this last warm evening. Shall we watch the sun go down together?”

The young miller’s wife put the butterfly on her bare shoulder and together they watched the sunset. The little butterfly, tired yet satisfied of everything that she had seen, closed her wings for the last time while the windmill’s sails turned to the gentle breeze of the wind.

……………………………………………….

The children were all silent. The little ones had fallen asleep already, and some had tears in their eyes.
“Nana tell us more …” they cried all at once.
“No,” said Nana, “it’s bed time now. Off ya’ll go now. I’ll see you tomorrow evening here at the same spot. And then we can share the stories the butterfly must have taken back to the windmill every evening just as we tell each other our daily adventures over supper each night.”

The children went home. Even little Boo went searching for his mama.
All turned quiet as the night set over Bovine Texas.

(Listen in to this magical evening of Nanalou telling the story.)

Reggy caught

Our family members all back home for the holidays.

Reggy went for a last illegal visit to AREA 106 and appearently got caught while taking pictures.

Is there anybody left to help him? Will our adventures end here?

Reggy cries out for help. Guards on strange animals have caught him while taking photos where it's not alowed to take pictures.

Reggy cries out for help. Guards on strange animals have caught him while taking photos where it’s not alowed to take pictures.