Betsy Butterfly in "No Joker"
Much to Mrs. Ladybug's surprise, she did not find Betsy Butterfly in the flower garden.
"It's too bad she's not here," Mrs. Ladybug remarked to her friend Jennie Junebug, who accompanied her. "We'll have to look in the meadow. And it may take a long time to find Betsy there."
Jennie Junebug yawned right in Mrs. Ladybug's face.
"Then I can't come with you," she said. "I'm getting terribly sleepy again. And since I expect to be up all night, I'm going to take a nap."
Mrs. Ladybug looked at Jennie with great disapproval as that fat young person crept under a leaf and went to sleep.
"Things have come to a pretty pass when ladies stay out all night!" she muttered. "It was not that way when I was a girl. But times have changed for the worse."
The longer Mrs. Ladybug stared at her sleeping friend, the more she thought that she ought to wake her up. "If I rouse her she'll be so drowsy to-night that she'll simply have to go to bed," Mrs. Ladybug thought.
So she poked Jennie Junebug several times.
But Jennie Junebug only stirred slightly and murmured something in her sleep.And seeing that it was useless to try to awaken her Mrs. Ladybug set out for the meadow alone.The sun hung low in the west when Mrs. Ladybug found Betsy Butterfly among a clump of milk-weed blossoms. But Mrs. Ladybug did not care what time it was. She was satisfied when she saw that Betsy was just as dusty as ever. For, to tell the truth, little Mrs. Ladybug was so jealous of the beautiful Betsy that she wanted to say something disagreeable to her.
"Hasn't this been a lovely day?" Betsy Butterfly cried happily, as soon as she noticed Mrs. Ladybug. "I've enjoyed every moment of it. Ever since I saw you in the flower garden this morning I've been here in the meadow, flitting from one blossom to another."
"You might better have spent a little of your time in a different way," Mrs. Ladybug remarked with a frown.
Betsy Butterfly looked up in surprise, withdrawing her long tongue from the blossom in which she had just buried it.
"Ugh!" A shudder shook prim Mrs. Ladybug. "Please coil your tongue!" she begged. "I can't bear the sight of it. But I must say that I ought not to expect good manners in a person who goes about looking as untidy as you do." Betsy Butterfly laughed gaily.
"I didn't know you were such a joker!" she exclaimed.
"Oh, I'm not joking," Mrs. Ladybug said. "I mean every word I say."
"Then I wouldn't talk so much, if I were you," Betsy Butterfly advised her with a merry twinkle in her eye. And before Mrs. Ladybug could say another word Betsy Butterfly flew away and left her spluttering and choking.
"She insulted me!" Mrs. Ladybug screamed, as soon as she was able to speak. "She insulted me. And then she hurried off because she didn't dare stay!"But Mrs. Ladybug was mistaken about one thing. Betsy Butterfly knew that she had just time to reach home before sunset. So that was why she left so suddenly. For she never was willing to travel when the sun was not shining.
"I'll see Betsy in the morning," Mrs. Ladybug promised herself savagely. "I'll make it my business to follow her everywhere she goes, until I've given her a good talking to."