Author Eve Bunting
Picture and Story by Gina Jackson
is a story about a little girl who saw a black creature like a tiny
worm, and saved it from a greedy jay who wanted it for lunch. She
carried it inside on a green leaf. Her grandpa told her that it
was a larva and soon would be a butterfly.
Her and her grandpa laid the larva on thistle leaves
inside an empty jar, put in a twig for it to climb, then made a lid of
soft white paper all stuch around with glue. Her grandpa knew
exatly what to do. "I raised a butterfly myself," he said, "when I was
your age". She thought that it was strange that her grandpa was once
young like her. They found a box. The little girl cut a window in its
side, covered with screen. She looked inside and wondered what the
larva would see or think. Her grandpa knew exactly what to
do. They painted flowers that butterflies like best. the ones
they can rest and drink the sweet, clear nectar. They glued the painted
flowers inside the box, made a sky above, with small white cotton
Through the screened
window, she could see the garden house. Each day she put out leaves for
food and watched her larva change. As the days went by, the butterfly
grew. She was all spotted orange, black, and brown as if someone had
shaken paints and let the drops fall down. Her grandpa knew when it was
time. "Our Painted Lady," Grandpa said. "It's time." The little girl
cried as she carried out the box and raised the lid. The
butterfly felt the first warm touch of sun, saw trees, felt breezes
brush across her wings. She rose, then rested on a fig tree
branch. The little girl saw her fly. "Good-bye."
So many years have passed. The little girl grew as
old as her grandpa was that spring. Every spring, her garden glows with
flowers, the Painted Ladies come. They float and drift like
blossoms. Whe she walks, they flutter by to kiss her with a
painted wing. Her neighbors cannot understand why the butterflies are
so attracted to her. She smile and thinks that the Painted Ladies talk
among themselves how their great-great-grandma was saved by her.
She thinks that the butterflies visit her each spring to give her back
the love she gave to them so long ago.
Critical Thinking Questions:
1. Why do you thing the Painted Ladies come to visit the girl each
2. What is your favorite season and why?