One day, a butterfly came and perched on a lily in the garden where Minny, the Moth lived. The butterfly’s wings were purple, yellow and red, and as she fluttered them, they glowed in the sunlight.
The butterfly was so pretty that all the flowers in the garden nodded their heads eagerly and urged the butterfly to come and sit on their petals. After a while, the butterfly flew to a bright pink zinnia.
Minny was sitting on the stem of the zinnia plant, but she was so quiet that the butterfly didn’t notice her at first. But when Minny flapped her wings, the butterfly spotted her.
“Hello!” said the butterfly with a smile. “I’m Betty, the Butterfly! What’s your name?”
The moth said, “My name is Minny.”
Betty the butterfly asked Minny curiously, “Why are your body and wings such a dull brown? Have you lost your colours?”
Betty raised her wings proudly, and showed off her colourful wings. “
“I’ve never had any colours,” Minny said softly. “I’ve been this way ever since I came out of my cocoon.”
“I’m glad I don’t look as dull as you do,” Betty said, with pride. “I am so pretty that every flower in this garden wants me to sit on it! It must be awful to be as plain and unattractive as you are!”
Now, until this time, Minny had not thought about her appearance at all, and had been quite content with her life in the garden. But Betty’s scornful words kept ringing in her mind over and over again.
So she went to a little puddle in the corner of the garden, and looked into it to see herself clearly.
When Minny saw her reflection in the water, she was shocked.
“What Betty said is true,” she thought. “I look very dull and plain because I have no colours on my body or wings. I must do something to make myself prettier!”
Minny began to think hard, and after sometime, she got a good idea. She would ask some of the colourful flowers in the garden if they would share some of their lovely colours with her!
Minny immediately flew to an exquisite red rose, and asked the rose, “Can you share some of the bright red that you have on your petals with me?”
The rose nodded her pretty head. “I am willing to give you one of my fragrant red petals,” she replied graciously. “But what will you do with it?”
“I will drape it over my wings,” said Minny proudly, “so that it looks like a fine velvet cloak! I’m tired of being a plain, mousy brown. I want to be bright and colourful like Betty butterfly. She will be so envious when she sees my red cloak!”
The rose shook her head. “Your cloak will not last for very long,” she said. “My petals wilt, and their colour fades very quickly, you know.”
Minny bent her little head in disappointment when she heard this, and sat under the rose bush.
The red rose was moved by Minny’s sorrow.
“Why don’t you ask the sunbird to give your one of his yellow feathers when he flies into our garden?” she suggested. “Feathers don’t fade like petals, and will make a fine cloak too”
“What a good idea,” Minny said brightening up at once. “I’m going to fly around the garden, and see if I can find the sunbird.”
So Minny began to fly around the garden. She soon spotted Betty sitting on a tree stump, looking very beautiful, with her delicate wings spread out.
Betty was busy sunning herself, and was not paying any attention to what was going on around her.
But Minny noticed that a fat garden frog was hiding in the grass near the tree stump and looking greedily at Betty as he smacked his lips! “Look out, Betty!” Minny cried out loudly.
Betty leapt up with a start, and flew into the air just as the frog leapt towards her.
But the frog was just a bit too late! Betty had been saved by Minny’s warning.
“Thank you for warning me about the frog,” Betty said to Minny in a trembling voice. “I’m so lucky that you were nearby to warn me.”
“I was there because I was searching for some colours to drape on my body,”
Minny said thoughtfully. “But now, I’ve decided that I’m not going to continue the search any more.
The frog spotted you so easily in the garden because of your bright colours, but he’s never spotted me because I merge so well into the background. I’m glad I’m
alive, and I think I’m better off and happier just the way I am!”
Animals, bird, and insects often use their colouring to merge into their background, so that enemies will not notice them. This is called camouflage.