04 July 2012

The Penguin, the Monkey and the Butterfly

Duffy, the monkey, was sitting quietly watching an army of ants work their way up a nearby log when he something caught his ears. It was a moan coming from a nearby clump of trees. Being a very curious monkey, Duffy went to go see what it is. He crept ever closer to the clump of trees trying to not make a sound. The moaning got louder and angrier with every step Duffy took.

When he finally got close to the trees he stopped and wondered if he really wanted to know what was making the angry noises in the trees. Sometimes, when he was too curious, he would find himself in a lot of trouble. He really wanted to know anyway so he gently pulled back the bushes just enough to see the hairy back of a gorilla. Duffy smiled and thought of all the fun tricks he could play on the sleeping gorilla. Until, that is, the gorilla rolled over and Duffy saw it was Mildred.

Now some gorillas can be nice, but most are a bit on the cantankerous side. Mildred was the most cantankerous of them all, especially when she was trying to sleep and she was always trying to sleep. Only the King of Kong himself would dare mess with her, especially when she was napping. Mildred looked like she was trying to sleep but she had a most peculiar way about her. Her eyes were closed and she was lying on some giant leaves but she was tossing, turning and flailing her arms in the air. Each time she flung an arm she moaned. It was the oddest sight Duffy had ever seen.

Duffy was a generally good monkey who happened to get into quite a bit of trouble when he got too curious or tried to play pranks, and, being a good monkey, he knew better than to mess with Mildred so he decided he would leave. Just as he was about to let go of the branches and go back to the ants he noticed a blue flicker around Mildred’s head. He pushed his face through the small opening in the brush to get a better look: it was a butterfly fluttering about. It was one of the most beautiful butterflies Duffy had ever seen. It had dark blue wings with bright blue spots on the tips.

Just then, Mildred’s hand went flying past Duffy’s nose and almost knocked it clean off. Duffy jumped back rubbing nose for the near miss. Creepy back to the brush, Duffy pulled the branches back again. Mildred’s fit made more sense: the butterfly was trying to land on her nose and Mildred was trying to keep it away. If she was successful, she would probably squash the poor thing. Duffy carefully reached through the trees and snatched butterfly just before Mildred’s hand swung again. Jumping back, Duffy cleared the branches and ran from the trees, just in case Mildred had awoken.

Slowly, Duffy opened his hand. The blue butterfly gave a few quick flutters of its wings before taking off. The poor monkey was sad as he watched the butterfly fly away. Before he could shed a tear, the butterfly came back and landed on his hand.

“Hello again,” Duffy said.

The butterfly slowly opened and closed its wings but said nothing.

“I bet,” Duffy continued, “I bet you are looking for your home, somewhere warm and comfortable.” The butterfly still did not respond. “Well, Mildred is no place for a delicate butterfly.”

Duffy started to walk and think. He was thinking of all the warm places a butterfly could live in. As he was walking and thinking he heard another sound in the bushes. This was less of a moaning sound and more of a rustling sound of something trying to hide; it was coming from the nearby tumboa plant.

Duffy sneaked around the tumboa and lifted some of the leaves, careful to not frighten the blue butterfly. Under the leaves was a small animal which was surprised to see Duffy staring at it. Slowly and sheepishly, the animal crawled back through the tumboa leaves until it was out in the open. It was a penguin, one of the last animals that Duffy ever expected to see in the Wu Kong jungle. The penguin’s eyes seemed fixed on the butterfly, and that made Duffy nervous.

The penguin looked closer at the butterfly and then suddenly burst into a series of excited quacks and squeals while wildly flapping its wings. “Oh my goodness!” she shouted in a shrill voice. “I am so happy I found you! I have been looking everywhere. I thought I lost you forever, and then where would that leave me? I will banned, that’s where I would be. Banned for life! They would have thought I had eaten him or something. I mean, I don’t even like bugs. Fish... I love fish, but not bugs and definitely not a cute little butterfly like you. How could I ever?!”

The little penguin kept going. Duffy wondered if she would ever stop even to breathe. The penguin did eventually pause for a moment, this time to look at Duffy who had just realized that the penguin had just barely realized that the butterfly was actually being carried.

“Ah, hello,” Duffy said. The penguin stopped and started rocking back and forth while looking at Duffy. Her face lit up.

"Hi!” she almost shouted, “I’m Pidg. Thank you so much for finding my little Dott. Now, we must get him back before they notice he’s gone. Oh, I am sure they would be so worried! But if we are quick then they won’t even notice and everything will be okay, right?”

Duffy was a little worried. It was one thing to get in trouble for a prank he played or for being too curious, but it sounded like he was in trouble for rescuing a butterfly from certain squashing. And that did not sound like fun.

“Do you have a name?” Pidg asked. “It’s okay if you don’t. I mean, not everyone has to have a name, although I find them terribly useful. How else do you call someone and have them know that you are trying to talk to them?”

“Duffy, my name is Duffy.”

“Well then Duffy, shall we return Dott?” Pidg asked as she reached her flipper towards Duffy. Duffy paused for a moment and considered simply handing the butterfly over to the penguin and wishing her luck, but just then he heard a distant crashing of branches and he remembered the sleeping Mildred from whom he had rescued Dott. Pidg had probably wakened her up. Duffy knew that of all of the places he could be, the last place he wanted to be was wherever Mildred was when she was grouchy and he was sure the crashing branches meant she was grouchy. So, with a shrug of his shoulders, he grabbed Pidg’s flipper and tried to keep up with her as she took off through the forest.

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