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From The suns babies by Edith Howes.
Age Rating 2 to 4.

Start of Story

Tinyboy lived in a big red poppy. It was a pretty house. The walls were red silk, and the floor was black velvet, and there were plenty of soft velvet balls to play with. In the day-time the bees and butterflies came to see him; at night, when the poppy shut its petals, he crept down into the seed-box and slept in his warm blankets. But Tinyboy grew very lonely, for he had no one to play with. The bees and butterflies were always in such a hurry that they had no time for a game, and he had no one else to talk to. He was really a merry little fellow, but just now he was so lonely that he grew quite cross. He sat on his doorstep and kicked his heels, and said: "Oh, dear! I wish I had somebody to play with. I'm tired of this big, lonely house, and those silly bees and butterflies that are always in such a hurry. I do wish somebody would come and play with me." "How cross you are to-day," said a Red Butterfly who heard what he said. "If you are so rude we won't come to see you at all," she went on. "Fancy calling us silly!" "Oh, well," said Tinyboy, "you know I didn't mean it. Only I'm so lonely, and you never will stop to play with me." "I should think not," said the Butterfly. "I have my work to do, and I can't stop to play. Why don't you go out and look for a playmate?" "How can I?" asked Tinyboy. "You know I can't get out of this house. It's so high up that I should fall and hurt myself if I stepped out. I can't fly like you, for I have no wings." "No, neither you have! I forgot about that," said the Butterfly. "Well, I feel sorry for you, so I'll tell you what I shall do. I shall give you a ride round the garden on my back, and we'll look for a playmate for you." "Oh, that will be grand," said Tinyboy. "I'm ready now." "Jump on, then," said the Butterfly, "and hold tight." Tinyboy jumped on and held tight, and off they started. It was a wonderful ride. Tinyboy had never been out of his house before, so he knew nothing about the other flowers in the garden. When he saw the roses and lilies and pansies and bluebells he thought this must be the great world he had heard the bees talking about. "Is this the world?" he asked. The Butterfly laughed. "No," she said; "this is only a garden. Over the hedge there is another garden, and past that there is another, and many more after that. It takes more gardens than one to make a world." "Ah, well. I'm sure it is pretty enough to be a world," said Tinyboy; and so it was. The sun shone, the birds sang, the bees and butterflies flew gaily about their work, and the flowers laughed and nodded to one another across the garden. It was all lovely; Tinyboy would have liked to ride all day on the Butterfly's back. But he knew the Butterfly must soon go on with her work, so he began to look about for a playmate. "Let us see if anyone is at home here," said the Butterfly, stopping at a large pink rose. "Come out, Rose-lady!" she called, and out came the prettiest little lady you ever saw. She was dressed in soft pink silk, and her hair was yellow and fluffy. She came out smiling at the Butterfly, who was her friend, but as soon as she saw Tinyboy she hid her face shyly in her curls and ran back into her house. The Butterfly called and Tinyboy called, but she was too shy to come out again, so they had at last to fly away to another flower. [Illustration: "When she saw Tinyboy she hid her face shyly in her curls"] The Butterfly stopped next at a bluebell's door. He had no need to call out there, for a little lady dressed all in blue sat on the doorstep. "Good day, Red Butterfly," she called as they came near. "Who is this on your back?" "This is Tinyboy," said the Butterfly. "He is looking for a playmate. Will you come?" The blue lady looked at Tinyboy and shook her head. "I don't like red," she said, pointing to Tinyboy's red clothes. "I like boys in blue suits." "That's right," called a merry voice from the next bluebell. Tinyboy looked and saw a little fellow in a bright blue suit laughing up at him. "The blue lady is my playmate," he said, "and you are not to take her away." So Tinyboy and the Butterfly went on. By and by they came to a big red poppy with a black velvet floor. "Why, that is just like my house," Tinyboy said when he saw it. "Is it my house?" "No," said the Butterfly. "Your house is at the other side of the garden. Tinygirl lives here." The Butterfly stood on the edge of the poppy, and Tinyboy looked in. There sat a dear little Tinygirl on the doorstep, swinging her feet just as Tinyboy had done in his house, and looking just as lonely as he had been. She was dressed all in red silk, and her wee cap of black velvet was just like his. She smiled at Tinyboy and Tinyboy smiled at her, and said: "Will you play with me?" "Of course I will," she said at once. "Come into my house and play ball."


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