As the sun was beginning to seep in through the wooden slats of the old barn, Belinda the butterfly was just starting to wake up. The morning was Belinda’s favourite time of day, when breakfast beckoned and a whole new set of adventures lay waiting in store.
She was just preparing herself for the day with a large yawn and a long stretch when, all of a sudden, Belinda noticed that something wasn’t quite right. Her body felt rather lighter than normal, which wasn’t something that Belinda was used to.
Suddenly, as Belinda went to spread her wings and fly out of the old barn, she lost her balance and toppled over onto the hay. It was becoming more and more clear that one side of the butterfly’s body felt heavier than the other.
Giving a little wiggle down her left, everything seemed to be in order and where it should be. But, as she gave a little wiggle down her right, Belinda very quickly noticed that something was missing.
Her beautiful wing had gone! Disappeared, just like that, as though it had never been there. Belinda had no idea how it could have possibly gone missing. Maybe she had left it behind somewhere whilst off on one of her many adventures.
The butterfly was sad, scared and a little confused. For such a careful creature, it was rather a careless thing for her to have done.
But Belinda knew that one thing was for sure. She must find her wing. Without her wing, she would never fly again, and what is a butterfly that cannot fly?
Hobbling out of the barn, Belinda just happened to see Percy the pig stood at his trough, tucking into his breakfast. Perhaps he would know where Belinda’s wing was. Or, at the very least, he could help her to look for it.
Clearing her throat, Belinda prepared to use her very loudest voice. Being only very small and unable to fly, it would have been difficult for Percy to see her amongst the tall grass.
The sound of Belinda’s voice made the pig jump. With breakfast crumbs flying everywhere, Percy swung his head from side to side to try and work out where the voice was coming from.
Belinda tried again, standing up as tall as she could.
“Hey, down here! It’s me, Belinda!”
Percy looked down to see the little butterfly stood amongst the tall grass, staring back at him. It was strange to see that Belinda wasn’t flying. Percy wondered what on earth had happened.
“Hello, Belinda. I’m sorry, I almost trod on you! What on earth are you doing down there?”
“I’m glad you noticed. I seem to have lost one of my wings. If I don’t find it, I’ll never fly again. Have you seen it anywhere?”
Percy the pig was shocked.
“But that’s terrible! I’m afraid I haven’t seen it, but I’d be more than happy to help you look.”
“That would be most kind of you. Thank you very much.”
“No problem! You simply won’t do with only one wing!”
And with that, Percy and Belinda set off into the farm, searching high and low for the lost wing.
After looking through the wooden fences, in the tall grass and behind the bales of hay, who should Percy and Belinda bump into but Patricia the pigeon? She was sat in her little tree, peck-peck-pecking at her breakfast.
Once again, using her very loudest voice, Belinda shouted to the pigeon up the tree.
“Patri-iiicia! Can you hear me?”
The pigeon nearly fell out of the tree. She was sure that a little voice had come from somewhere, but she was flummoxed if she could work out where.
Peering out of the tree, Patricia noticed that Percy was stood at the bottom – looking very important – and suspected that he was doing all the shouting.
“Did you want something? Only I’m in the middle of my breakfast!”
Patricia’s voice made Percy a little nervous.
“No, it wasn’t me! I’ve got Belinda the butterfly here with me! She’s having to shout as she can’t fly and really needs your help!”
The pigeon flew down to where Percy and Belinda were stood, keen to investigate.
“I see! So what seems to be the problem?”
Now that Patricia was down on the ground, Belinda could explain properly.
“I’ve lost one of my beautiful wings. Percy and I have spent the whole morning looking everywhere for it, but it is nowhere to be seen.”
“Oh dear, I am sorry! What a bothersome thing to lose your wing!”
“Yes, and without it, I will never fly again. Have you seen it anywhere?”
“Alas, nothing of the sort has caught my eyes. But, as I fly around the farm today, I shall be sure to keep them extra peeled. If I see anything of the sort, I will bring it straight back.”
“That’s ever so kind of you, Patricia. Thank you very much.”
“My pleasure! Butterflies never were meant to walk!”
They certainly weren’t. As Percy and Belinda continued on their adventure to find the lost wing, the little butterfly was starting to get very tired indeed.
Perching on a fence to rest, Belinda thought long and hard about where her wing could be. It really was a mystery as to how it had managed to get so lost.
She was interrupted by a loud – “Baa!” – from the field behind her. It was Sid the sheep.
“Excuse me, but can I help you?”
“Do you mind?! I was in the middle of a rather deep and important think just now and you made me jump!”
“Terribly sorry about that. Anything I can help with?”
“As a matter of fact, there might well be. You see, I appear to have lost my wing. Percy and I have been scouring the farm all morning, asking everyone we know, but I’ve had no luck so far. Have you seen it anywhere?”
“How odd. I can’t remember seeing it anywhere. I’ve eaten some pretty strange things from this field in my time, but I think I’d notice something as brightly coloured as that.”
“Yes, well, we don’t need a list of all the strange things you’ve eaten. Perhaps you would be able to ask your sheep friends if they have seen it. Or eaten it.”
“I shall. Though you could be a little more polite about it. After all, it isn’t my fault that you have lost your wing.”
“I’m sorry. I’m just getting rather tired and a little frustrated.”
“Very well. I hope you have more luck as you go about your day.”
Having still not found the lost wing, Belinda and Percy left Sid the sheep and continued on their hunt. Where on earth could it be?
Even poor Percy was starting to get rather tired of all the walking. For a pig who had only had one meal – it was well past lunch time by now – all this searching was getting to be hard work.
“Have we much further to go, Belinda? I’m starting to get so hungry that I could eat a whole trough.”
But the little butterfly was determined to find her wing, wherever it may be.
“Not much further now, Percy. But I must find my wing. You’ve been ever such a good friend for helping me look. I can go on by myself, if you like?”
Percy thought. He couldn’t leave the butterfly all alone. But he simply had to eat something.
“Tell you what. I can see some bits of food on the grass just there. You go on and I shall catch you up when I’ve eaten.”
That sounded very fair to Belinda.
“Alright. But you needn’t hurry too much. I’ll hardly be rushing myself.”
However, it turned out that Belinda didn’t need to rush at all. On the leaf of an oak tree just behind her, a tiny ladybird was racing across. It was Lucy.
Whilst the ladybird was taking a short rest, Belinda took the opportunity to approach, ruffling the leaves so that Lucy would know she was coming. She didn’t want to frighten the little ladybird.
“Hello? I’m terribly sorry to bother you. I just wondered if you might be able to help me with something.”
Having heard Belinda coming, Lucy was already waiting to greet her. It was nice to be approached by somebody who wasn’t so much bigger than herself.
“Not at all. What’s the problem?”
“Well, you see, I’ve done something very silly. I’ve gone and lost my wing. Percy and I have looked absolutely everywhere for it and asked just about everyone we know. But we haven’t had a shred of luck.”
Lucy could see just how tired Belinda looked.
“That is a shame, indeed. I have not seen anything so brightly coloured.”
“You haven’t? Oh dear. I’m beginning to think that my wing really is going to be lost forever. Without it, I will never fly again.”
“Tragic! We cannot have that! Little butterfly, I will scour the place for you and look wherever I can. I’m used to lots of walking, and perhaps your pig friend would be able to help? You need a jolly good rest.”
Just then, Percy appeared behind Belinda, having eaten the bits of food from the grass. Lucy was quick to set to work.
“Finished tucking in, Percy? Let’s be going, then! We’ve got work to do!”
As they set off, Lucy started to explain how she would need Percy’s help, to which he very much agreed. They left Belinda to go back to the old barn and rest, determined to return with her lost wing.
Meanwhile, the little butterfly was exhausted and miserable. On her way back to the barn, she passed the tree where Patricia lived. The pigeon had been very busy scouring food for her supper.
“Ah, Belinda! Did you have any luck finding your wing? As promised, I looked high and low for you, but it was simply nowhere to be seen! However, you’re more than welcome to join me for lunch.”
But Belinda was too sad to eat. She just wanted to go home.
“That really is very kind of you, Patricia, but I must be getting back. I need to rest.”
“Very well, dear. I am sorry that you haven’t had more luck.”
Though nobody could be more sorry than Belinda, who had made her way back to the old barn in a slump. All of her hard work and searching had come to nothing. She would have to prepare to face life with only one wing.
Flopping into the corner of a bale of hay, Belinda wondered how she would fare as a butterfly who could no longer fly. What would the other animals think of her? Would they still believe that she was a real butterfly?
But just then, out of the corner of her eye, Belinda saw something that looked very familiar. It gleamed in the sunlight which was still seeping through the wooden slats of the old barn. She went to take a closer look.
It was her wing! Her beautiful wing, lay under a mound of hay! Belinda had never been so relieved in her life.
Slowly and carefully, Belinda put her wing back on and gave a little flutter. How pleased she was to have it back again! The only question was, how had it fallen off?
But, as the little butterfly flew around the barn, she realised that it didn’t matter. She was able to fly again.
As she took off to find Lucy the ladybird and Percy the pig, Belinda vowed that she would never be so careless ever again.
These things are always in the last place you look…