Just for Kids / Leila the Ladybug


By Margo Wayman



Leila the ladybug sat on a milkweed leaf. She didnt like milkweed very much. It was prickly, and sometimes she got sticky white sap on her feet. She wanted to go and find a new place, so she spread her red wings that had big black spots on them, and flew off into the azure blue sky.






She flew over a pond and looked down into it. Leila saw some lily pads floating on top of the ponds greenish water. Some of them had beautiful white flowers attached. Leila flew down to get a better look. She didnt see the big, olive green, spotted frog, sitting behind one of the lilies. "CROAK!" it said loudly.


Leila the ladybug was just about to land on the lily pad when she heard the frog. Quickly she darted up into the sky. The frog stuck out its long, sticky tongue and tried to catch her. It almost did, but missed. Leila flew up higher, and higher, then looked down at the frog. It drew in its tongue and let out another loud, "CROAK!"


She flew away as fast as she could. After a while her little red wings began to get tired. She needed to rest. She landed on top of a beehive that was hanging from a branch of an oak tree, and fell fast asleep.


When Leila the ladybug woke up, there were hundreds of bees buzzing all around her. They didnt want her on their hive. One big bee flew up to her and put his stinger out. Leila was so scared. She didnt want the big bee to sting her, so she flew away quickly, flying right through the mob of angry bees. She didnt stop until shed reached a fragrant rose garden.


Leila fluttered down onto a pretty pink rose. The bees hadnt followed her, so she thought she might stay in the rose garden for a while. Roses have prickles, but smelled so good, and were so pretty. As she was looking around at the different colored roses in the garden, a large, furry, black spider climbed up the rose stem towards her. Hed just come from his web and was feeling very hungry. Slowly, slowly, he made his way up the green stem, climbing over the thick thorns, heading towards the pink petals, where the little red ladybug with black spots sat.


Leila saw something out of the corner of her eye, moving near her. She turned around just as the spiders hairy leg came onto the soft pink petals. Leila flew straight up into the air and out of the spiders reach. Hed almost caught her. She looked down at the creature. It was now sitting in the middle of the rose; its legs reaching up towards her.


Leila the ladybug decided that maybe it would be safer for her if she went back to the milkweed. Then she thought she might try one more place. As she was flying, she looked down at the ground below. There were bright orange poppies blooming, but she saw some bees and butterflies fluttering around near them. A cluster of sunflowers looked like little suns lying on the ground. She was about to fly down to them when she saw a small snake slithering through the leaves.


She saw a cherry tree up ahead. She looked all around it. There were no bees, no butterflies, no frogs, no spiders, and no snakes. She glided down and landed on a juicy ripe cherry. It was so soft. She could easily reach the leaves near the cherry, so shed have lots of food. She took a deep breath. The cherries smelled divine.


She took a little bite of one of the cherries. It was sweet and plump, and oh so juicy. She held her tummy and went, "Yummmmm." She just knew that she was going to be very happy here, but no sooner had she thought this, when a dark shadow fell upon her. She slowly raised her eyes and saw a bluebird hovering above her. It came closer and began to peck at the cherry she was standing on. She realized that the bird hadnt even seen her because she was so small, and so red, just like the cherry.


Peck! Peck! Peck! Juice flew all over Leila the ladybug. She jumped off the cherry and flew away. Leila flew back to her milkweed leaf. Even it if was sticky, and prickly, at least she was safe there. That night Leila slept very well. She was so tired after her adventurous day. She dreamed happily of her life as a ladybug on a milkweed.



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