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The Turtle and the Butterfly

The Turtle and the Butterfly

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Published by Elizabeth K Gordon
A children's story inspired by a hike I took with my niece Allison near her house in Lake Forest California.
A children's story inspired by a hike I took with my niece Allison near her house in Lake Forest California.

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Published by: Elizabeth K Gordon on Oct 24, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Turtle and the ButterflyFor Allison Gordon
There once was a girl named Nasilya who went on a walk with her aunt, Yak(this is in a place where they had names like that). They thought it was going to bea short walk but then they got lost. They walked and walked. It was a hot day, butnot too hot. They were thirsty, but not too thirsty. They were walking along astream that ran in a deep ravine. They could see a tall tree that grew on theirstreet on the other side of the stream. Nasilya said to her aunt, "why don't we just walk down and cross the stream, and find our way home from there."So they slid down the steep bank. On the edge of the stream, which was notvery deep, or very fast, sat twin girls. They had big eyes, teeny mouths, and verylong eyelashes. They were dressed just the same, and they were crying."Why are you crying?" said Yak."Because we're lost," they said. "Our house is right over there—we can seethe satellite dish—but we can't get across the stream."Now Nasiyla thought the twins must be quite dull-witted, for anyone couldsee that the stream was neither deep nor fast. All you had to do was take yourshoes off and walk across. Thinking she would show them how, Nasilya slipped offher sandals and stepped into the water. Then she jumped back. It was hot! It wasthree times hotter than the hottest bath, and much too hot to walk across. Nowshe knew why the twins were crying.So they all sat there, the aunt and her niece and the two identical twin girls,trying to think of a plan.Then suddenly, a very large turtle surfaced from the hot water. "Hello,"said the turtle (this is a country where some of the animals speak). "Are you tryingto cross this stream?""Yes we are!" said the aunt, jumping up. "Can you help us."The large turtle, whose shell was a dark green with bits of moss growing onit, said, "I have on occasion helped wayward travelers cross this steamy body ofwater," (animals talked like that there) "and often the travelers have been sograteful to be saved, they have given me a gift.""Oh, that's nice of them," said Nasilya."Often," the turtle went on, its two front legs on the bank where they sat,"they give me the gift
Yak understood what he meant, and searched in the backpack she wascarrying for a gift. In it she had their empty water bottle (not a very good gift), anapple, and a hard-boiled egg."Would an organic apple be a good gift?" she said to the turtle."I don't like apples," the turtle said."Well," said Yak, "how about a nice egg?""Don't like eggs.""Hmm."Everybody looked in their pockets for a gift to give the big, dark greenturtle. The twins always carried cosmetics with them. In their pockets they hadthree bottles of nail polish."Would you like your nails done?" they asked the turtle.The turtle looked down at his gnarly old nails. "Well I suppose I would," hesaid, "yes I think I would. But I see only three bottles, whereas the number ofpeople I am being asked to ferry across the stream, is four.""Hmm," said the aunt. In the meantime Nasilya was looking in her pockets.In her back pocket, she found stick-on stars that her teacher had given her atschool for getting all the answers right on a math test."Would you like some stick-on stars?" she asked the turtle, showing them tohim."What would I do with those?" he asked. "I have no paper to stick it on to.I am a turtle, after all.""A turtle with a rather dull and boring shell," answered Nasilya, reallywanting to get home now. "Isn't his shell dull?" she said to the twins."Yes, very," they agreed. "The color of spinach. Too bad we don’t haveenough nail polish to paint it.""But what we could do," said Nasilya, "is make a star out of stars in themiddle of your shell. Then you'll be a star!"The turtle thought that was a fabulous idea and agreed to ferry each of thefour lost people across the stream, once the star of stars was on his shell. SoNasilya peeled off stars—read, yellow, silver and green—and decorated the turtle'sold shell.When his nails were polished and his shell was decorated with a large star,the turtle was so pleased with himself that he forgot what he had promised to doand swam away to show his friends. The aunt and the niece and the twins calledafter him, but he ignored them and soon was gone out of sight."Maybe he'll come back," said one of the twins."Maybe," said the aunt. They sat back down. It was near the end of theday. The sun was low in the west. They shared the apple and the egg, and waited,but the turtle did not come back.Just when the twins were beginning to cry again, their long eyelashes likewet shoelaces, a beautiful butterfly flew toward them and hung fluttering in the

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