Betsy Butterfly in "Busybodies"

 

 

Busybodies


Little Mrs. Ladybug said that she wished Betsy Butterfly no ill luck. But she thought that perhaps it would have been a good thing for her if Johnnie Green had caught her and put her in his collection.On hearing that strange remark Mehitable Moth turned quite pale. She never wanted Johnnie Green's name mentioned by anyone, because she lived in constant terror for fear he might mistake her for one of the Butterfly family and capture her.
"What do you mean?" she asked Mrs. Ladybug, while fat Jennie Junebug waddled nearer them, in order to hear everything they said. Though Jennie was sleepy, having stayed out very late the night before, the promise of a bit of gossip made her brighten up at once."I mean—" said Mrs. Ladybug—
"I mean that Johnnie Green would certainly have brushed Betsy Butterfly before adding her to his collection." And then, seeing a blank look on the faces of her hearers, she cried. "Don't tell me you haven't noticed how untidy Betsy Butterfly is! Can it be possible that the airs she gives herself, and her fine manners, have deceived you?"

"What is it?" asked Mehitable Moth breathlessly. And as for Jennie Junebug, her breath was coming so fast that she couldn't say a word.
"I'll tell you exactly what I mean," Mrs. Ladybug continued. "I stopped and spoke to Betsy Butterfly this very morning. And I stepped up close to her, because I wanted to see if she really does paint her wings, as my friend Miss Moth, here, suspects," Mrs. Ladybug explained to Jennie Junebug. "And what do you think? I saw that Betsy Butterfly was completely covered with dust, from head to foot!"

Mehitable Moth looked rather uncomfortable. She was somewhat dusty herself. And she thought that Mrs. Ladybug might be giving her a sly dig.
"Perhaps Betsy had been on a journey," she ventured.
"Ah! But there is no dust to-day, on account of the rain we had last night," Mrs. Ladybug replied. "I'm convinced that the dust I saw on Betsy Butterfly was weeks old."

"The idea!" Jennie Junebug exclaimed. "I should think she'd be ashamed of herself. Did you tell her how untidy she looked?"Mrs. Ladybug shook her head."No!" she answered. "But I've been thinking the matter over. And I believe it's my duty to speak to her about it. I don't see what she's thinking of, to go about looking like that!"Miss Moth looked more uneasy than ever, especially when Mrs. Ladybug said:
"Wouldn't you like to come with me while I look for Betsy?"

"I must go home now, thank you!" said Mehitable. And she hurried away without another word.
But Jennie Junebug spoke up at once and said she would be delighted to accompany Mrs. Ladybug.
"Really," Jennie confided to her companion, "it's a good thing to have backs as hard and slippery as yours and mine. For the dust can't stick to us as it does to some."
"There's no excuse for not keeping oneself neat," Mrs. Ladybug said severely. "And I shall give Betsy Butterfly a piece of my mind."
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