Big Ladybug and Tiny Ladybug
A bunch of round, red ladybugs wanted to eat.
“Before we eat,” said Big Ladybug, “who will walk outside and see how cold or hot it is today?”
One tiny ladybug raised one of his six legs. He kept himself steady with his other five legs.
“I will go,” Tiny Ladybug said. “I will go all by myself.”
Big Ladybug frowned. “Tiny Ladybug,” he said, “You have never been outside alone.”
Tiny Ladybug fluttered his wings. “I can do it, sir,” he said.
Big Ladybug was not so sure. “You may not stop off anywhere to play,” he said.
Tiny Ladybug nodded. “Yes, sir,” he said.
Big Ladybug folded his front two arms. Big Ladybug stood on his other four legs. “You must do only what I tell you to do. Fly outside. Check if it is too cold, or too hot. Then come right back again to tell the rest of the ladybugs.”
Tiny Ladybug nodded again. “Yes, sir, yes, sir,” he said.
So Tiny Ladybug flew out of the hole in the tree where the ladybugs lived.
He flapped his round, red wings. Then he stopped on a green, oval leaf. He walked around.
Tiny Ladybug nibbled on one aphid. Then he nibbled on two aphids. He nibbled and nibbled. He counted seven aphids, then eight aphids.
“Oh, dear,” Tiny Ladybug said to himself. “I am not supposed to eat.”
Tiny Ladybug tried hard to remember what he was supposed to do.
A stinkbug stopped on the leaf. She was a friend of Tiny Ladybug’s from Bug School.
They played a quick game of Hide-and-Seek. Tiny Ladybug found her very easily. He followed the stink. He did not tell her, though. He did not want to hurt her feelings.
“Oh, dear,” Tiny Ladybug said to himself again. “I am not supposed to play or to eat.”
Tiny Ladybug tried hard to remember what he was supposed to do, before he got into big trouble with Big Ladybug.
Tiny Ladybug decided to take a walk, to try to remember. He walked from leaf to leaf, thinking hard.
At first, Tiny Ladybug shivered. It was cold. It was too cold for a Tiny Ladybug to be out, walking around. Tiny Ladybug was too afraid to fly home, though.
After a little while, it warmed up enough to be comfortable for ladybugs.
“Ah-HAH!” Tiny Ladybug shouted. Every insect on the tree jumped. “Now I remember what I am supposed to do.”
So Tiny Ladybug flew back to the tree.
Big Ladybug was waiting, with his front arms still folded. His back leg was tapping an angry tap. He only had three legs left for standing. Tiny Ladybug could tell he was angry.
“Sir,” Tiny Ladybug began, “I went outside before, and it was too cold for ladybugs.”
Big Ladybug growled. “Then why did you not come back again and tell us?”
“I waited, sir,” Tiny Ladybug said. “Now it is warm, and all the ladybugs may go and eat all they want.”
All the ladybugs cheered. One by one, they flew out of the tree to eat as many aphids as they could.
Tiny Ladybug was the hero of the day.
Except for Big Ladybug. He smiled at Tiny Ladybug. “You forgot, didn’t you?” Big Ladybug said to Tiny Ladybug.
“Yes, sir,” Tiny Ladybug admitted.
“Well, it all worked out today,” Big Ladybug said. “But next time, try never to forget something important again, or there could be real trouble.”
“Yes, sir,” Tiny Ladybug said, and he smiled and flew off with the rest of the ladybugs, to play and eat and walk and fly.