The Grouchy Ladybug
Author Eric Carle
Picture and Story by Traci Walker

Lady Bug

    One morning a friendly ladybug woke up at five o' clock and discovered a leaf with many aphids on it.  A few minutes later a grouchy ladybug appeared and also desired to eat the aphids for breakfast.  The friendly ladybug offered to share them, but the grouchy ladybug wanted to fight.  When the grouchy ladybug glared into the friendly ladybug's eyes, he decided that the friendly ladybug was not big enough.  With feelings of anger, he flew away in search of someone bigger to fight.

       In the hours to come, he approached a variety of insects and animals searching for a fight.  He saw a yellow jacket and asked him to fight, but after seeing his stinger, the grouchy ladybug departed. 

    As each hour passed throughout the day, he encountered a stag beetle, praying mantis, sparrow, lobster, skunk, boa constrictor, hyena, gorilla, rhinoceros, and an elephant.  At five o'clock in the afternoon, he saw a whale, which remained his last hope for a fight that day.  However, the whale did not respond to his badgering, so he flew away.  As a last resort, he asked one of the whale's flipper and the whale's fin for a fight.  The flipper nor the fin responded to his question, so he flew on.   Finally, he asked the whale's tail for a fight, and it slapped him back to the leaf with the aphids on it.  The grouchy lady bug was exhausted and behaved courteously to the friendly ladybug.  They shared the aphids and went to sleep.

                               Critical Thinking Questions:

1.  Why do you think the lady bug behaved the way that she did?
2.  How would you behave if you were an animal that the grouchy ladybug approached?
3.  What is an alternative ending to the story?
4.   What is the moral of this story?

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