With five hundred and fifty five sacks of nectar collected, I only have six more to go. Then I will be collector of the week, Horace thought as he paused for a break.
It was humid and hot, not two of his favourite words but work was work and families had mouths and they needed to be fed.
He paused and with a neat flick his strawlike tongue zipped outwards and got …nada… zilch…nothing.
Again, it can’t be happening again. Oh gosh, that’s the third time today. I’m overworked, I’m finished I won’t make the top of the pollen charts today or tomorrow. I must be ill. As he ranted and raved, a strange noise caught his attention. He paused and looked about him. The other insects around were mostly bees or the odd horsefly, but he could have sworn he heard a giggle. He didn’t see anyone watching him.
“Oh god, its worse than I thought, I’m going cuckoo, mad, batty.” He shuddered – he hated bats.
Horace considered his options. To return home now would be to admit total and utter defeat. “I’m not a quitter, ” he muttered. “I’ll move on to the next plant and try once more.”
Horace waited for the wind to lift and like the other butterflies about him he had a knack of taking off just at the right moment. However, today when he stretched his wings for take off, he noticed that something was not quite right. I feel as though I am gaining weight. Must go back to Moving and Meditating Classes, they did me good the last time. He decided as he flew on to the next plant.
He landed with a thump and gave himself a minute. He closed his eyes and pictured a calm scene. Night time and his bed.
Meanwhile Lolita ladybug had unattached herself from him and was busy collecting nectar. Horace is exceptionally stupid, he closes his eyes for a minute each time he lands. She hummed as she worked.
Butterflies were famous for being less than clever but today she had hit the jackpot, so far she had robbed Horace of six sacks of nectar and if she played her cards right he would even give her a ride back home.
The sun was dropping to its bed, the level of noise was dropping as most animals were settling down for the night. Horace was almost home. He was exhausted and flying low to the ground. As he flew over a discarded bicycle he noticed a strange reflection. It can’t be me, I am never that shape, he thought and circled for a better look.
Lolita, I will fix her. But saying it and doing it are two very different things. Horace didn’t want to hurt her merely give her a fright. Suddenly he saw the perfect place to do it. It was a steep climb but he made it. He dropped very low over the basin and with a huge effort gave his wings a shake. The sleepy ladybird slid off the end of his wing, the sacks of pollen followed her dropping through the air. As Lolita woke with a fright she began to scream. Feeling the sudden rush of air, she began to flick her wings to stop her fall. It was enough for Horace to turn around dive between her and the sacks and collect them with his outspread wings.
“Don’t mess with me again. I am not stupid.” Horace said as he turned for home.
With a shrug Lolita vowed she would have better luck tomorrow as she too made her way home.