Betsy Butterfly in "Unexpected News"

 

 

Unexpected News


Little Mrs. Ladybug had a disappointment when she reached the farmhouse. She found, to her dismay, that she couldn't get inside it; for wire screens blocked her way through both doors and windows. And nobody paid the slightest attention to her when she stopped at the buttery window and asked if she couldn't please have a bit of butter.There was plenty of golden butter right there in plain sight, since it happened to be churning day. And Farmer Green's wife, with her sleeves rolled above her elbows, was working busily on the other side of the window screen.

"I should think she might easily spare me a small sample!" Mrs. Ladybug cried at last. "I'm afraid Farmer Green's wife is stingy."Mrs. Ladybug hoped that Johnnie Green's mother would hear her remark. But she didn't. And in the end Mrs. Ladybug had to fly away with her longing for butter still unsatisfied.Meanwhile Betsy Butterfly had been amusing herself in the meadow to her heart's content. To tell the truth, it was rather a relief to be rid of Mrs. Ladybug's society for so long a time. And Betsy hoped that Mrs. Ladybug's errand to the farmhouse would keep that busybody engaged for the rest of the day.

Now, after she left the farmhouse Mrs. Ladybug set out to find Betsy Butterfly again. But meeting Daddy Longlegs near the stone wall, she stopped to gossip with him, telling him how she had learned that she liked butter, and explaining that she had not yet tasted any."So you looked into a buttercup to find out, eh?" said Daddy Longlegs. "I'll have to do that, myself. Maybe I've always liked butter, too, without knowing that I do."
"You can't tell till you try," Mrs. Ladybug remarked. "But you mustn't be too sure. You may be disappointed. There's Betsy Butterfly! She doesn't care for butter at all."

"Are you sure about that?" Daddy Longlegs inquired. "Really, I think you must be mistaken, for I saw her with her face just buried in butter this very day."At first Mrs. Ladybug looked at him in amazement. And then she grew very angry.
"Betsy Butterfly deceived me!" she cried in a shrill voice. "She was afraid that if I knew she ate butter she would have to share it with me.... I'd like to know where she gets her butter," Mrs. Ladybug mused.
"She was standing on some of Farmer Green's, when I saw her," Daddy Longlegs explained.

"Did she ask him for it?" Mrs. Ladybug demanded."I don't believe she did," he admitted. "I think she just took it."A wicked gleam came into Mrs. Ladybug's eyes when she learned that. And she threw up her hands, exclaiming,
"She steals! Betsy Butterfly steals butter! When the field people hear the news they won't think she's so fine." And then Mrs. Ladybug turned to Daddy Longlegs once more and demanded whether he knew of anything else that Betsy Butterfly was in the habit of taking from Farmer Green.

"Eggs!" he replied promptly.
"Eggs!" Mrs. Ladybug repeated after him. "Betsy Butterfly steals butter and eggs!"And before Daddy Longlegs could stop her she had hurried away to spread the news far and wide.
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