LADYBUG'S ROSES AND
THE PHARAOH OF EGYPT
Of all the creatures under the Big Blue Sky, perhaps none
was a better friend to the beautiful garden roses than Ladybug.
Every morning Ladybug would put on her red and
black-spotted coat. After smoothing out her wings in the
mirror, she would fly out her door to go to work
in the rose gardens.
Once she arrived in the gardens, she would put down
her lunchbox and
go immediately to
work. From morning until mid-day she labored very
hard, looking for
the harmful insect pests known as aphids that like to
eat the roses.
"A-ha!" she would exclaim when she spotted one chewing
and munching on a
tender red petal or stem, "I see you! And
more of your friends with you..."
would do a very un-ladylike thing. "Well, take this!" she
would shout, and
as her wings began to flutter with a great
"Biff!" and "Bapp!" - the harmful aphids would scurry off
in dismay, feeling
And so Ladybug
worked from dawn until dusk to protect the beautiful,
from the hurtful pests. The roses were very grateful
to have such a
fine friend as Ladybug. They would nod and sway,
perfuming the air
very lovely way to show their appreciation. If a new
rose bloomed in
the garden and needed attention, Ladybug always
arose to the
occasion and gave it extra-special care to show
that it was welcome.
This made the
roses very happy. Murmuring amongst themselves as
Ladybug flew by,
they would let out a great big sigh and the air would
be filled with
the sweetest fragrance. "Very nice!" Ladybug would
out her clipboard and pencil, she would cross off the
words in big
capital letters, "MAKE ROSES HAPPY TODAY" from
her list of things to do.
But the aphids
were still very bad. No matter how ashamed they would
feel the day
before when Ladybug chased them away, they
always seemed to
have an extremely short-term memory. If she turned her
back for a
minute, they would resume their naughty tricks without
thought. Ladybug would just sigh to herself, for she knew
that if a rose
was but a rose, then a pest would never be more than a pest.
One evening, at
the end of a particularly hard day, Ladybug stopped in at the
Mint Leaf Café
to have some nectar and a rest. Traffic had also been bad
and she was very tired. To make
matters worse, big drops of rain had been falling on
her all day. A cold
wind blew outside and suddenly Ladybug let out a
big sneeze, "Achoo!"
"Bless you," said
a nearby waitress, offering a napkin.
Ladybug, and then she realized that she was coming
down with a
But Ladybug, like most folks, hated to think that she
could be getting
sick, so she repeated herself - a bit louder this time -
YOU!" Then she felt sheepish, because her nose
really was stuffy
and there was no denying that she was getting sick.
exclaimed the waitress, smiling gently.
And she gave
Ladybug some hot ginger tea to settle her stomach, and
Feeling refreshed, Ladybug slowly made her way home.
Hanging up her
coat, she went to relax in her enclosed, candle-lit porch
cobbled-stone, deciding to work on her greatest love: a 5000-piece
Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun was a great Pharaoh, or king,
who ruled the
land of Egypt many moons ago. Tutankhamun or "King
Tut" as his
friends called him, had been known as the Boy King
because he was
crowned ruler of all Egypt and the great Nile - the
mighty river that
flows through Egypt - when he was still very young.
that he must have been a very smart boy indeed, to rule an
Patiently - piece by piece - Ladybug worked on putting
features of the young pharaoh, but she had a headache and
her nose was
beginning to run. She became very sad.
pesky aphids, two hours on the road just to get to
work, and now
this cold, I'll never
be able to finish this puzzle!" she lamented to herself.
The puzzle piece she was holding began to feel very, very
heavy, and no matter how
she looked, she just couldn't seem to make it fit anywhere.
With a soft sigh,
and a box of tissues tucked under her arm, Ladybug got up
from the table
and crawled into bed. For awhile, she lay under the
thought about King Tut and the beautiful land of Egypt with
its Valley of
Kings and pyramids and the mysterious Sphinx.
"I'll bet King Tut
could have finished that puzzle by now," she said to
forlornly. Then, closing her eyes, Ladybug fell asleep.
The next morning
it was still raining, but the drops were bigger and
was even colder then the day before. "Achoo!"
waking. Her cold was worse and,
as she might, Ladybug couldn't get herself up to go to work.
She ached, and
every time she moved it made her sniffle, cough or
she gave up and went back to sleep. A few hours later
she woke up
again, not feeling any better, but she
thought maybe she could
at least try to piece together King Tut's royal
Alas, however, she couldn't get herself out of bed to work on the
Meanwhile, as it
rained, the nasty aphids were very happy in the rose
garden. With no
Ladybug around to swat them, they could be naughty
Munch! Munch!" on the tender leaves and stems of the
passed, and the winged Defender of the Roses
was still nowhere to be
"Yes!" cried out
one particularly ornery aphid with joy. "We've finally
been left in peace to munch!"
agreed his buggy friend. But the poor roses were very
sad, and the
blades of grass at their feet looked up at them kindly,
could help. Dinnertime came and went, but no Ladybug.
And still it
At last, the very
youngest aphid spoke up timidly, "I haven't been
Baffed! by that Ladybug all day," he said. "Somehow, things just
don't feel the same
around here." All of the other, older and wiser aphids
pretended that they hadn't
heard him, and they munched even louder.
But then, as they
munched, something happened to them. They began
to really look at
roses for the first time and notice their beautiful, velvet
Seeing that the aphids were taking
notice, the roses let out a big sigh and
filled the air with their sweetest smells. And, as if
in a dream, one by
one the aphids
"I kind of liked
being "Biffed" by that Ladybug lady," volunteered one
each aphid confessed that something was, indeed, wrong. And
very soon, all of
aphids were in agreement that while it had been a very
exciting day of
eating rose stems without being bothered - almost a holiday of sorts -
it just wasn't
any fun if they weren't going to be yelled at for being
naughty or chased for doing it.
Before long, the
insects had huddled together for a group
stopping by the Mint Leaf Café for directions, they were
soon all gathered
inside Ladybug's room as she lay in bed, snoring softly.
On her blankets
were crumpled-up tissues. On her night stand was a
melting bag of
ice. Beside the bag of ice was the doctor's prescription
for four cups of
blackberry tea a day.
The aphids, then,
felt very, very ashamed at being so naughty and they
began to creep
away softly so as not to disturb Ladybug. But the youngest
aphid spotted the
puzzle of Tutankhamun, and picking up a piece with
a critical eye,
he completed the royal mouth. Then he picked up two more pieces
completed the king's ear lobe. The other aphids saw what he
had done, and they
became very excited and industrious. Within hours they had
completed King Tut's cheeks
and eyebrows, and even the rest of the entire puzzle!
At last the
gleaming, youthful face of King Tut glimmered and sparkled
on top of
Ladybug's table like it was made of polished gold. All but
one piece was
left. Struggling mightily, the youngest aphid crept over with
the last piece of
the royal nose and dropped it from the air. It landed
softly on the
covers beside the still-snoring Ladybug.
and then flew back to the rose garden
to enjoy a late-night snack.
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