Great value

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thank you

Thanks for taking the time to read the books. I do smile when i see the comments.


Monday, August 30, 2010

The Caterpillar’s Quest

It was a quiet summer afternoon in the magical garden, when a tiny caterpillar, whose name was Conlan, hatched from an egg. He was so small, not even twice the size of the egg from which he had just hatched. The little caterpillar looked around, and realized he was hungry. He began to eat. He ate first one leaf, then another, and another. Once his appetite was somewhat filled, Conlan looked around. Stretching as far as he could see were leaves and stems, flowers and stalks.

“Where am I?” little Conlan piped up.

A nearby flower heard him and responded, “You are in the magical garden. Anyone who eats from the plants growing here, or drinks from the magical stream, can then talk to anyone else who eats or grows here.”

“Wow,” responded Conlan, as he continued to gaze at all he could see. He heard a noise and looked up. Surprised, he asked, “What are those?”

“Those?” the flower laughed. “They are butterflies.”

“They are beautiful. I have never seen anything so lovely,” said the caterpillar in amazement.

The flower whispered, “Just wait and see. Someday, something special will happen to you.”

Conlan wondered what that meant, but he was too hungry to think about it much. He began to eat again.

Day after day, the caterpillar ate and ate. He grew big and chubby. He met other insects in the garden, many of whom made comments about how much the caterpillar ate, and how fast he grew. One little ant, was busily working to collect food for his colony. He said, “I am working to collect food for the winter. Are you collecting food too, or are you just eating it all?”

A ladybug that heard the comment piped in, “He just eats and eats and eats. That’s all he ever does!”

Conlan felt bad. He munched his way over to the babbling stream and looked down into it. He saw his reflection and felt even worse. “They are right. I am just a fat caterpillar. I do nothing but eat.” The caterpillar heard some fluttering above and looked up. Again, he saw a few beautiful butterflies flitting from blossom to blossom. They looked so happy and free. Conlan began to cry, big tear drops running from his chubby green face and splashing into the stream below.

Suddenly, the caterpillar heard a whisper that seemed to come from the stream itself, “Someday you will fly freely with them.”

“That could not be possible. I am always going to be nothing but a crawling caterpillar.” He began to eat more leaves, until he was tired and went to sleep.

The next morning, Conlan decided to have his breakfast over at the same plant where he hatched. He really liked the taste of those leaves and thought it might make him feel happier. He hadn’t even finished eating, though, when a thin silk thread began to come from his tail. “Now what’s this?” He exclaimed. “Now the other insects will have another reason to make fun of me. I think maybe I should just hide.”

The same flower that spoke to the newly hatched caterpillar now heard his words again. “Hold on just a minute there, little caterpillar! Don’t be so gloomy. Do you remember what I told you when we first met? I said something special would happen to you; well, now is the time! All you need to do is spin a little house for yourself and climb inside.”

“What? How can that be something special? That makes no sense to me at all.” Conlan began to crawl away, so he would not have to listen to the flower.

The flower did not give up so easily: “I have seen the cycle before, little caterpillar. Perhaps you do not understand now, but if you just trust and have confidence, you will see.”

Deep inside, the caterpillar hoped that it was true. He wanted to be something different, something unique. “I guess it would not hurt to try.” He thought. “Okay, I believe you. I will do what you suggest.”

At that, little Conlan began to spin a little cocoon. It was not easy and took him a long time to spin it around himself. Everything was dark and a little bit tight inside. He thought of maybe crawling back out, but remembered the flower’s words. He decided to believe, and he completed his spinning his little cocoon, until he was tucked safely and tightly inside. Soon, Conlan fell into a deep sleep.

When he woke up, Conlan had no idea how long he had been sleeping. One thing he knew was that he felt very uncomfortable in his little cocoon. “I must have grown even bigger while I was sleeping,” Conlan thought to himself. “Now how am I going to get out of here?”

He pushed and shoved, but realized that the cocoon he spun had grown stiff, and was not moving. It had turned into a chrysalis. He tried wriggling and moving some more, and finally broke a little hole in the hardened chrysalis. Conlan was tired, but refused to give up; he first worked hard to get that opening a bit bigger. Then he kept on pushing and twisting about until he had finally wiggled his way out of the small opening.

Having at long last made his way through, Conlan was tired. He was fairly still for a few moments, trying to regain his strength, before looking around once more. “Something seems different.” Conlan observed. He looked behind himself, and there, opening and closing gently, were two brightly-colored butterfly wings!

Conlan was too amazed to even speak. He just rested there, gazing at his new, beautiful wings.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” Conlan heard a familiar voice. It was the flower that had first spoken to him, and encouraged him to have confidence. “Your wings aren’t just to look at. Come on, take off! It’s time for you to fly.”

Conlan was excited. Fly? He never thought such a thing would be possible. But now, here he was, with his very own set of wings. Conlan fluttered them up and down, and sure enough, he began to hover above the leaf on which he had been standing. He flapped them a little bit faster and rose higher than he had ever been before, to where he hovered slightly above the flower.

“Thank you,” said Conlan kindly. “You gave me such good advice and helped me to believe. I will not forget you.” The butterfly gave the flower a gentle kiss, and for once, the flower was speechless.

Conlan, the caterpillar-turned-butterfly, was thrilled. He flew up and around the tree, and flittered amongst the flowers; he hovered over the stream. Everything was even more beautiful and special from above.

Conlan saw ants busily working below, and he smiled. “If only they knew…” he thought to himself. Then he heard a sound and looked behind him. A butterfly with blue and black wings flittered up to him.

“Hi. I am Bacia. You must be new. Do you want to play?”

“Yes,” Conlan replied without a moment’s hesitation, and the two butterflies flittered off together, ready for a day of fun and adventure.

Bacia flew with Conlan to fields and parks, meadows and gardens. She taught him how to sip nectar from the flowers, and took him to the blossoms that tasted the best. She introduced him to other cheerful butterflies and he made many friends that day.

Tired and happy, Conlan returned to the magical garden that evening. The little flower who had helped him was already sleeping. “Tomorrow I will tell the flower all about my day.” He thought to himself.

As Conlan was flittering around for the best place to sleep with his newfound wings, he heard a soft sigh. He quickly found the source of the noise; it was a little caterpillar.

“What is wrong?” Conlan asked.

“Oh, nothing much. It’s just that I am nothing but a little caterpillar. Look at you; you are so beautiful with those wings, and you can fly and everything. What can I do?—nothing but eat and crawl around.”

Conlan smiled. “Just wait little one. Something very special is going to happen to you soon. I promise.”

The little caterpillar did not quite understand, but he was encouraged at the words of this kind butterfly that took notice of him. The two little creatures then curled up and went fast to sleep.

Jim Davies

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

At Last. The End

The flowers had been paying close attention to every word. Now they all looked around at each other. The little buttercup felt ashamed and spoke up. “I am sorry. You are right. There is no better place for me than where I am growing and living now. Thank you for your story that helped me to realize this.”

The rest of the flowers swayed in agreement.

“You are very welcome. Oh, and here comes the little boy now,” said the tree, as an old man slowly walked toward the garden.

“Our gardener?” asked the buttercup.

“That’s right. He was once the little boy that ran to listen to his mother’s stories under my growing branches. He is now much older. He did not come to visit for a long time, then began to come and read stories to his children when they were young, and now…”

“Grandpa, grandpa,” said two young children excitedly. “Look, the flowers are all so pretty!”

“I see a pretty lily.” the little girl said, as she ran up to one plant.

“And here is a cute little buttercup!” said the boy.

The old man greeted the blooming flowers. Then he sat under the big tree and watched the children run and play. After a few moments he pulled out an old book and the children came running to listen to the stories. Above, the wise old tree towered. By now, he knew that book very well, and he listened to the stories about forests and deserts, mountains and plains. He was happy though, in this big beautiful garden. The tree looked down at the flowers, and could tell they were now quietly listening to the stories as well. He knew they were happy too, for they had learned, through the story that the wise tree shared with them, how to be content in the special place they are.

Nearly done

“Then I woke up to a sun shining more brightly than I had ever seen it before. I thought for a moment that I was back in the garden, but even in the brightest and hottest summer I had experienced, the sun was never so hot. I could barely unfold my leaves when they began to wilt from the scorching sun. I stretched my roots as far down as I could, but there was no water, anywhere. All I could see around me was sand and a few pokey strange-looking plants, which I recognized from the book that the mother read to her son. It was a cactus. I realized that I was in a desert. Maybe it was the Sahara Desert, the largest and hottest desert in the world. It was much too hot for me and I needed more water than I would get here. Once more, the brighter the sun shone, the feebler I felt, and I could not remember anything more from that desert experience.

“A freezing cold and biting wind began to blow. It was so strong that I thought I would lose all my leaves. If that was not enough, it began to snow; not just a gentle snowfall like I knew from the wintertime in the garden, but a raging snowstorm. I looked around and saw that I was high on a mountain, and there was no shelter to be found. I wondered if it was Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. The wind blew more fiercely and the snow fell harder; I wrapped my leaves and branches as tightly as I could around my swaying trunk and huddled against the storm.

“Then, I felt a warm breeze. I heard the birds chirping sweetly, and the bees buzzing. I could hear the gentle babbling of a stream. I unfolded my leaves to the sun, which was shining just perfectly as I ventured a look around. I was back, in our magical garden. I was just in time to see the little boy come running up and try to climb my little trunk while his mother walked up holding a book beneath her arm.

“I still enjoyed listening to the stories about faraway lands and exciting new places. I now knew, though, that this garden was my home, and I am happiest here, among the plants and flowers, the bees and butterflies, the soft sunshine and gentle rain. This is where I belong, and I am content.”

Todays bit

The tree was silent, taking in what the unhappy buttercup said, while the other flowers all agreed with the first.

“Do you know what?” he slowly asked.

“What?” the little flowers chorused together.

“I once thought the exact same thing.”

“You did?” the small buttercup asked in surprise.

“Yes. I was once young, like you.” answered the tree. The flowers giggled at the thought of the huge tree before them being younger and smaller.

“You see, a mother used to come and sit beneath the shade of my leaves, although I did not give much shade at that time, because I was smaller. This mother brought her little boy, and would read him stories from a book. I listened as she read exciting stories about the hot and dry deserts, the dense and wet rainforests, and the cold and windy mountains. It all sounded so exciting and I wondered why I couldn’t see the world and experience a different environment. One evening, as I folded my leaves with the sunset, I thought again about all that I was missing and I felt sad, wishing that I could travel.

“I woke up the next morning to rain falling. ‘How could there be a storm in the summer?’ I asked myself. As I opened my leaves for the sun’s rays to give me strength, there were no rays coming from the sun. Gigantic trees with enormous leaves towered above me, and I could not see the sunshine. There were many colorful birds and other animals frisking and skittering around. ‘Where am I?’ I asked bright orchid. ‘You are in a rainforest of course; the biggest one in the world, the Amazon rainforest.” Yet because of the many other trees all sticking their roots deep into the ground and drawing out the moisture, I was growing weaker from lack of nourishment, and everything went dark.

A bit more.....

The little buttercup whispered goodbye so softly that he could barely be heard. He was busy thinking about the places that the butterfly talked about. How he wished that he could fly around; or even if he could crawl like the little ants and caterpillars, he would be able to see different and new places. He was sure it would bring him excitement and make him happy.

The buttercup sighed loudly, which caused a nearby lily to perk up and ask, “Are you okay, little buttercup?”

“Oh, I’m fine. I just saw a beautiful butterfly named Bacia. She talked about all the places she had flown; I wish I could fly too, but I am stuck here in one place. I have never even left this garden.”

“I know what you mean,” said the lily. “I also wish I could travel.”

One by one, the other flowers joined into the conversation, each one saying how they were unhappy unable to see new and exciting places and things because they were plants, and could not travel. Then a deep voice spoke. It was the old tree; the flowers knew he was very wise, as he had seen and experienced many things his years growing in the magical garden. He had been there longer than any of them, year after year, seeing the cool and rainy spring, the hot and bright summer, the breezy and fresh fall, and the cold and snowy winter.

“Little flowers, what seems to be the problem?”

The flowers were quiet for a moment, and then the buttercup who had spoken to the butterfly quietly stated his case: “We plants and flowers have never seen anything other than this garden. Insects can travel around by flying or crawling or walking. We have to stay in one place. It is boring. Why does it have to be like this? It’s not fair.”

The next bit

The plants were all friends and enjoyed chatting together as they soaked in the sun’s rays on their leaves and petals, and soaked up the water and minerals through their roots. These plants slowly grew, and they were usually very happy and content.

It was a cool spring morning in the garden, when a beautiful butterfly landed softly on one flower, and then another, flitting from blossom to blossom. She woke a little buttercup that piped up, “Hello, you are such a beautiful butterfly! What is your name, and where did you come from?”

“I am Bacia and I came from a field far away. I like to fly around, meeting new flowers and seeing many beautiful and different things as I travel from field to garden to park. Have you ever seen a park, with children playing and laughing, and big people strolling around? Have you ever seen a field, with grass and flowers that grow freely?”

“No.” said the flower, a little sadly. “I have never left this garden. I have never seen a park or a field.”

“Oh, my,” The butterfly replied. “Well, I can’t stay around too long. I have many more places to go before the end of the day. I will see you again. Goodbye.”
Adventures of a Tree

Once upon a time, there was a big and beautiful garden. It was full of lovely plants and sweet-smelling flowers. One tree, large and strong, stood in the middle of the garden, giving shade to the budding blossoms below. Tiny ants and caterpillars made their way through the green leaves, as whirring ladybugs, buzzing bees and flittering butterflies flew above.

A crystal clear stream flowed through the garden, which helped the many things to grow strong and flourish. This was a special stream, because any plants that drew the stream’s water into their roots, and any insect or creature that drank from the magical stream would be able to communicate with each other. At first glance, the garden looked like any other. Yet if you were to step into the garden and listen closely, you would hear whispers, and even an occasional giggle; for the stream had made it a magical garden, with talking flowers, plants, and the many insects that made the garden their home.

More to come................