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´╗┐Title: The Butterfly's Ball - The Grasshopper's Feast
Author: Ballantyne, R. M. (Robert Michael), 1825-1894
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Butterfly's Ball - The Grasshopper's Feast" ***

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The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, by R.M. Ballantyne.

________________________________________________________________________

This one of the half-dozen or so little books that Ballantyne wrote for
young children.  Many of these, and certainly the earlier ones, were
written under the pseudonym of Comus, but this one went out under his
own name, perhaps because by the time it was published in 1874 his own
name had become much more celebrated than that of his pseudonym.

It was written for very young children, and very amusing they must have
found it, with its characters being the little insects and small mammals
of the fields and woods, who assemble together for a feast.  Naturally
they must have become vegetarian for the day! Anyway, they put away
their warring instincts, and had a good time together, though one or two
incidents caused by the over exuberant during the dancing, threatened to
cause serious mishaps, though all were avoided.

It's a tiny book, perhaps a twentieth of the size of one of Ballantyne's
novels for older children, but it is certainly fun.

________________________________________________________________________

THE BUTTERFLY'S BALL AND THE GRASSHOPPER'S FEAST, BY R.M. BALLANTYNE.
The Butterfly's Ball--by RM Ballantyne



CHAPTER ONE.

THE BUTTERFLY'S BALL AND THE GRASSHOPPER'S FEAST.

  Come, take up your hats, and away let us haste
  To the Butterfly's ball and the Grasshopper's feast;
  For the trumpeter Gadfly has summoned his crew,
  And the revels are now only waiting for you.

  On the smooth-shaven grass by the side of the wood,
  Beneath a broad oak that for ages has stood,
  See the children of earth, and the tenants of air,
  For an evening's amusement together repair.

  And there came the Beetle, so blind, and so black,
  Who carried the Emmet, his friend, on his back;
  And there came the Gnat, and the Dragonfly too,
  And all their relations, green, orange, and blue.

  And there came the Moth, with her plumage of down,
  And the Hornet, with jacket of yellow and brown,
  Who with him the Wasp, his companion, did bring--
  They promised that evening to lay by their sting.

  Then the sly little Dormouse peeped out of his hole,
  And led to the feast his blind cousin the Mole;
  And the Snail, with her horns peeping out from her shell,
  Came fatigued with the distance, the length of an ell.

  A Mushroom the table, and on it was spread
  A Water-dock leaf, which their table-cloth made;
  The viands were various, to each of their taste,
  And the Bee brought the honey to sweeten the feast.

  With steps more majestic the Snail did advance,
  And he promised the gazers a minuet dance;
  But they all laughed so loudly, he pulled in his head,
  And went, in his own little chamber, to bed.

  Then, as evening gave way to the shadows of night,
  Their watchman, the Glow-worm, came out with his light.
  So home let us hasten, while yet we can see,
  For no watchman is waiting for you or for me.

The Butterfly's Ball--by RM Ballantyne



CHAPTER TWO.

THE BUTTERFLY'S BALL AND THE GRASSHOPPER'S FEAST.

  Come, take up your hats, and away let us haste
  To the Butterfly's ball and the Grasshopper's feast;
  For the trumpeter Gadfly has summoned his crew,
  And the revels are now only waiting for you.

  On the smooth-shaven grass by the side of the wood,
  Beneath a broad oak that for ages has stood,
  See the children of earth, and the tenants of air,
  For an evening's amusement together repair.

It was very early one delightful morning in summer, when the trumpeter
Gadfly sounded his horn, inviting all the insects in the forest to the
Butterfly's ball and the Grasshopper's feast.  The sun shone brightly,
the air was mild and soft, and the scent of the wild flowers delicious,
so that not one of the insects thought of staying at home.  Butterflies,
Beetles, Bees, Wasps, Snails, Grasshoppers, Ants, all put on their best
coats and frocks, all, put on their sweetest smiles, and all hurried
off, in little bands, to the ball, talking and laughing, and humming and
buzzing, by the way, as if they were the happiest creatures in the wide
world.  Even the old Beetle, that had been run over by a cart-wheel and
squeezed nearly to death, got out of bed when he heard what was going
on, and limped along with the rest, though he had been confined to the
house for six months before.  One or two Butterflies, that were never
known to go out except in the very finest weather,--and even then,
carefully wrapped up,--determined to venture.  They were long in making
up their minds about it.  One thought it looked a very little like rain;
another feared that the light breeze might give them a cold.  However,
they put on a great many cloaks, and went.

From all directions they came, and assembled on a smooth, grassy spot,
under an old oak-tree, where the revels were to take place.  Some
crawled slowly along the ground, some bounded quickly over hill and
dale, some came running and tumbling, jumping and hitting against things
in their haste; some came swiftly through the air, and alighted so
suddenly as to tumble head over heels; others flew quietly to the scene
and fluttered lightly about, admiring the gay company they were about to
join.

  And there came the Beetle, so blind, and so black,
  Who carried the Emmet, his friend, on his back;
  And there came the Gnat, and the Dragonfly too,
  And all their relations, green, orange, and blue.

The Black Beetle was the first to make his appearance.  He carried his
dear friend the Emmet on his back, and a sad journey they had of it, to
be sure!  Being very blind, the Beetle was constantly falling over
twigs, knocking his shins against the edges of leaves, and tumbling into
ditches, so that the poor Emmet had many terrible falls, and once the
great beetle fell on the top of him and crushed him a good deal.  But it
was very pleasant to see how cheerful they were under all this.  On
getting up after a fall, the beetle always laughed so boisterously that
the tears ran down his cheeks, and his black sides nearly cracked; while
the little Emmet said gaily, "Ah! my friend, accidents will happen! not
hurt, I hope?  Come, get along once more;" and then he jumped up on his
friend's back again, and away they went as merrily as ever.

A Gnat and a Dragonfly, with a great many of their relations, arrived
about the same time with the Beetle.  They looked quite charming in
their brilliant dresses, the colours of which were chiefly green,
orange, and blue.  A large Blue-bottle Fly, with a very light waistcoat,
and a hat stuck on one side of his head, said that the Dragonflies were
lovely, and that Miss Gnat was quite killing.  This was an odd thing to
say, but Mr Blue-bottle meant by it, that she was very beautiful.
Indeed, it was said that he fell in love with Miss Gnat, for he danced
with nobody else during the whole afternoon.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

  And there came the Moth, with her plumage of down,
  And the Hornet, with jacket of yellow and brown,
  Who with him the Wasp, his companion, did bring--
  They promised that evening to lay by their sting.

The Moth was sound asleep when the Gadfly blew his trumpet.  She had sat
up too late the night before, and, owing to having indulged this bad
habit, had overslept herself the following morning.

However, she tried by her activity to make up for lost time; she saw the
other insects hurrying past her house in crowds, so she threw on her
clothes as fast as possible.  The Moth was prettily dressed in a soft
garment of down, and as she was a modest creature, every one loved her.
On leaving home, she observed the Wasp and the Hornet passing.  They
were dressed in rich suits of brown and yellow.  At sight of them she
was a little frightened, and endeavoured to run back to her house until
they should pass by; but they caught sight of her, and immediately gave
chase, screaming out loudly, "Oh! dear Mrs Moth, pray don't be alarmed.
We have laid by our stings for to-day, and won't hurt you."  They soon
caught her, although she ran as fast as she could.  So the Wasp and the
Hornet each offered her an arm, and obliged her to walk between them
while they danced along, shouting, and singing, and winking waggishly to
the friends they passed on the road.  The poor Moth blushed very much at
being seen by all her friends in the company of two such wild creatures.
A Caterpillar and a Long-legged Beetle, besides one or two other
insects that chanced to be near, laughed very heartily on seeing what
had happened.  But the Moth soon recovered her spirits; and when they
arrived at the oak-tree, she was walking along with a sprightly step,
first talking to the Hornet and then chatting to the Wasp, as if they
were her dearest friends.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Then the sly little Dormouse peeped out of his hole,
  and led to the feast his blind cousin the Mole;
  And the Snail, with her horns peeping out from her shell,
  Came fatigued with the distance, the length of an ell.

"Come along, you lazy fellow," cried the little Dormouse, knocking with
his ivory-headed cane at the door of a mole-hill.

"Ay, ay, cousin," shouted the Mole, "I'll be there in a minute."

So the Dormouse stood impatiently tapping his boots till the Mole should
be ready.  The Dormouse was dressed in the height of fashion, and
thought himself a rather handsome fellow.  Some people said that he was
conceited, and indeed a Spider that was near at hand plainly told him
so; but, whether this was true or not, there is no doubt that he was a
very kind little fellow, because he came to lead his poor blind cousin
to the feast.

"What a time you have been, old boy," he said, as the Mole appeared,
dusting the earth off his coat and white hat.

The Mole answered that he had been very busy all morning making a new
tunnel between his bed-room and drawing-room.  He then took his friend's
arm, and away they went over the green meadows, where the cowslips and
buttercups grew, making the grass look as if it were dotted all over
with gold.  Sometimes the two friends stopped by the way to rest under a
buttercup, and sip a little morning dew; but seeing every one hastening
past them, while they wasted their time, the Dormouse jumped up again,
and cast a sly look at his blind friend as he asked him what he thought
of the fine view.

"Don't make jokes about my being blind," said the Mole, pretending to be
angry.

Just at that moment they both ran into a Spider's web.

"Oh! how stupid of me," cried the Dormouse; "I wasn't looking before me
at the time."

"You might as well be without eyes, if you don't use them," said the
Mole, as they cleared away the threads of the net, and, making a low bow
to the Spider, went on their way.

Now, all this time the Snail had been slowly creeping over the stones
and winding round the blades of grass and flowers that strewed her path
to the place of meeting.  But she was so long of getting there that the
guests began to be impatient, and said that perhaps she was not coming
at all.  She lived under the next tree, and had only about four feet to
walk, but she was so very slow that she took a long, long time to it;
and at last the Grasshopper whispered to the Butterfly that she should
go and meet her.  Away went the Butterfly on her gaudy wings, and,
alighting by the Snail's side, began to urge her to make haste.  During
the Butterfly's absence, the Wasp, who was always making spiteful
remarks, said that it was shameful in the Snail to keep them waiting;
but the Humble-bee, who was walking up and down conversing with a Midge,
turned round and said, "Remember, you Wasp, that you have not brought
your sting with you to-day, so pray do not give way to your spiteful
nature.  The poor Snail has to carry her house on her back, so we should
not be angry at her slowness."  Some of the other insects said that this
was no excuse for the Snail, because she knew that she walked very
slowly, and should therefore have set out sooner.

"Come, come," cried a young Frog, jumping forward, "no fighting to-day,
ladies and gentlemen.  We have come here to be happy; and here comes the
Snail at last."

As he spoke, the Butterfly flew towards them, and the Snail crawled in,
took off her bonnet, put on her spectacles, and sat down; while the
waiters bustled about, placed stools for the guests, and brought in the
repast.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

  A Mushroom the table, and on it was spread
  A Water-dock leaf, which their table-cloth made;
  The viands were various, to each of their taste,
  And the Bee brought the honey to sweeten the feast.

It was, perhaps, the strangest dinner-party that ever was seen.  There
were such a multitude of odd creatures, of all shapes and sizes and
colours; some of whom were by nature bitter enemies, and would have
fought and killed each other had they met in the woods while taking a
walk, but were quite civil and polite to one another, now that they met
as guests in Mrs Butterfly's bower.  Indeed, many of them wished that
they could be such good friends at all times as they were then.

All the party had now arrived, and there was a great deal of talking,
and buzzing, and humming, and jesting, as they sat round the table and
feasted on the good things placed before them.  The table was a
mushroom, covered with a table-cloth of water-dock leaf, and on it were
placed all the delicious dishes of the woods.  The Dormouse brought a
good deal of wheat, oats, and barley.  The Squirrel brought a bagful of
nuts.  The Humble-bee brought a quantity of fine honey in the comb,
which was declared to be most excellent.  In short, every one brought
something or other; so that, when all was spread out beside the good
things supplied by Mrs Butterfly and Mr Grasshopper, it seemed the
grandest feast that ever was heard of.  Such fun there was, to be sure!
And such a multitude of voices talking all at once.

"My dear," cried the Butterfly across the table to the Grasshopper, "I
hope you are attending to your friends there.  See that you give them
enough to eat, and plenty of mountain-dew to drink."

"Yes, yes, my love," replied the Grasshopper as well as he could for
laughing at the jokes of a bloated old Spider that sat beside him.  Then
the Grasshopper called to the Butterfly to send him a slice of wheat;
but, as the noise prevented his being heard, he jumped over the table at
one bound, helped himself, and bounded back again.  Two or three young
Crickets and five or six Midges sat at a little side mushroom.  They
made more noise than all the grownup people put together; and the lady
Butterfly looked round at them with a smile once or twice, quite
delighted to see them so happy, and to hear their merry voices ringing
through the woods.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

  With steps more majestic the Snail did advance,
  And he promised the gazers a minuet dance;
  But they all laughed so loudly, he pulled in his head,
  And went, in his own little chamber, to bed.

After dinner the ball began, and it was the strangest ball that ever was
seen.  The trumpeter Gadfly and a number of his relations, besides
several Grasshoppers and Bees, were the chief musicians.  They wanted a
bass very much at first, but the Bull-frog offered his services,
although he confessed that he was accustomed to sing alone.  Then the
gentlemen drew on their gloves, flattened their wings, pulled up their
collars, and coiled away their tails; while the ladies tightened their
garters, ruffled their feathers, and put out their feelers.  Oh how they
did dance! reels were nothing to it.  The greatest difficulty was to
keep the Grasshoppers in order.  They became so excited that they sprang
quite out of sight every moment, and so lost their partners, and ran
against everybody in searching for them.  Then the Bull-frog, who sang
bass, got a little too much of the dew, and sang so loudly, that he
quite drowned all the other players.  So Mrs Butterfly put her claws in
her ears, and running up to him, said, "Oh! dear Mr Bull-frog, pray do
not sing quite so loudly."  The poor Bull-frog was almost weeping with
joy at the merry scene before him, but he blushed very green on hearing
this, and said he had forgotten what he was doing, but would try to be
more careful.  However, in five minutes more he was worse than ever, so
they sent a few hundred bees to sing treble beside him, and try to keep
him in order.  In the middle of all this there was a sudden stop, and a
Snail, stepping forward, offered to dance a minuet.  This was received
with such a roar of laughter that the poor snail, half frightened, half
angry, drew in his horns and went to bed on the spot, and the dance was
begun anew.  By this time the Gnats and Midges, and some of the other
flies, had left the ground and retired to enjoy a cool dance in the air.
Two or three Spiders mounted up into the oak, and fastened threads to
some of the branches, by which they dropped suddenly down among the
dancers, and, seizing their partners round the waist, carried them
screaming in among the leaves.  So the fun and the noise became louder
and louder.  On the ground, under the bushes, among the branches of the
trees, and in the air, the dancers bounded, skipped, laughed, sang,
shouted, and flew in a way that had never been seen or heard of before.
The merry old Bull-frog became quite absurd.  He sang and roared like a
lion; took up all the young insects in his arms and hugged them; tumbled
over the other musicians, and, in short, did so many wild things that
they were at length obliged to tie him to a paddock-stool, where they
left him to enjoy himself.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Then, as evening gave way to the shadows of night,
  Their watchman, the Glow-worm, came out with his light;
  So home let us hasten, while yet we can see,
  For no watchman is waiting for you or for me.

The sun went down at last, but still the dancers continued their sport
under the old oak-tree, when suddenly a clear, beautiful light streamed
across the turf.  It was the Glow-worm's light.

"How charming!" exclaimed the Butterfly.  "It is such a sweet, subdued
light."

"Rather too much subdued," growled the blundering Black Beetle, as he
tripped over a twig and pulled his partner, a humble-bee, down with him;
"couldn't you shine a little brighter--eh?"

The Glow-worm shook his head.  "Couldn't give you another ray to save my
life," he said; "but if you send for a few of my friends, they will be
happy to come and help me, no doubt."

"A good suggestion," said the Black Beetle, assisting his partner to
rise.

"Oh, my poor frock," cried the Humble-bee, gazing sadly at a long rent
in the skirt.

"Never mind, let's have at it again," cried the Beetle, seizing her
round the waist, and blundering on again in a furious gallop of his own
invention.

"Whom shall I send for the Glow-worm's relations?" muttered the
Butterfly to herself.

"Send the Snail," said a lively young Cricket, who had devoted himself
to doing mischief during the whole evening.

"Peace, little goose," replied the Butterfly, tapping the Cricket on the
nose with her fan, and hastening towards the Grasshopper, who was still
enthralled and convulsed by the bloated old Spider.

"Whom should we send, my dear!" said the Grasshopper, in reply to the
Butterfly's question; "the Fly footman, to be sure; and pray tell him to
be smart about it, for I've been run down half-a-dozen times already by
the dancers since the sun set.  One lamp is too little for our
ball-room.  That blind Mole has run--ha! there he comes again.  Look
out!"

As he spoke, the Mole came bearing down towards them in a furious
Portuguese waltz, with a horrified Dragonfly struggling in his arms.

The Grasshopper made a bound to get out of the way, but at that moment
the lively young Cricket laid hold of his leg and held him fast.  The
consequence was that the Mole tumbled over him, fell on the top of the
bloated Spider, and hit his head so violently on the breast of the
Bull-frog that he stopped his noise immediately.

This sudden stoppage of the bass brought the other musicians to a stand,
and as a matter of course stopped the dancing abruptly--with the
exception of a deaf Squirrel, who had failed to find a partner, and who
went on revolving slowly by himself as if nothing had happened.

"Dear me," exclaimed everybody (except the Squirrel), "what has
happened?"

"Oh, nothing worth mentioning," said the Grasshopper, getting up with a
limp.  "You young rascal, what--why--there, take _that_."

"Oh!" sobbed the young Cricket, pointing with a look of surprise at the
Spider; "what a sight!"

He might well say so, for the bloated old Spider had been flattened out
by the weight of the Mole to nearly twice her size, and was apparently
quite dead.  In great concern, the host and hostess ran to raise her.

"Are you hurt, dear?" asked the Butterfly, anxiously.

"Hurt!" exclaimed the Grasshopper, pushing her aside; "don't you see
she's burst!"

"Oh me!  I'm _so_ sorry," exclaimed the Mole, wringing his fore-paws.

At that moment there was a shout of eager expectation, for the Spider
was seen to move.  The Butterfly knelt at her side, and bending down,
said tenderly--

"Tell me, dear, _has_ he burst you?"

"N-no, n-not--qu-quite," answered the Spider faintly; "I'm only
f-flattened.  Let some of you sq-squeeze m-my sides."

Immediately a dozen of the young Crickets surrounded the old lady, and
pressed her sides with all their might.  This had the effect of raising
her back a little, and enabling her to draw a good long breath, which
speedily raised her up to her original size.

"There, I'm all right now," she said in a cheerful voice; "I'm used to
accidents of that sort, and they never leave any bad effects beyond a
little stiffness of the lungs.  Come, Grasshopper, I'll finish that
story.  Get on with your dancing, good people."

"Nobody inquires after _me_," croaked the Bull-frog, rubbing his chest.
"I had no idea a Mole's head was so hard."

"Have some mountain-dew," said the Butterfly, gracefully handing him a
blue-bell filled with the precious liquid.  "It has been gathered on the
Scottish hills by a native Bee, who has just arrived laden with
heather-honey."

The Bull-frog accepted the goblet, and drained it to the bottom.

"It is strong," he said, coughing and smacking his lips.

"Oo ay," observed the Scotch Bee; "it's got the credit o' bein' a wee
thing nippy."

Under the influence of the dew the Bull-frog began to sing bass lustily.
The other musicians chimed in.  The dancers seized each other by waist
and hand--or by tail and wing those that happened to have no waists or
hands--and the ball was about to go on, when the Grasshopper shouted--

"Stop!"

"Your money or your life!" added the lively young Cricket.

"Silence, pert monkey!--Let us wait a few moments, my friends, for here
come our lamps."

As she spoke, a soft light was seen in the far distance gleaming upon
the stems of the trees and steadily advancing.

"Your relations, Mr Glow-worm, I presume," said the Butterfly in a
sweet silvery voice.  "It is so _very_ kind of you to send for them, and
_so_ obliging in them to come.  Really I cannot find words to express my
gratitude."

The countenance of the Glow-worm lighted up with pleasure at these
words.

As the new-comers drew near, they appeared like a great galaxy of minute
stars--as if a mass of the Milky-way had been cut off and hurled down to
earth.  There were several hundreds of them.  As they approached, the
whole forest lighted up; and when at last they descended upon the scene
of the ball, and ranged themselves in a circle round the gay party, it
seemed as if the sun himself had risen again to give them light--only
the radiance was softer and more mysteriously tender than that of the
sun!

Strong light has always an enlivening effect on creatures, whether human
or otherwise.  It cheered up the guests of Mrs Butterfly so much that
they gave vent to an irresistible cheer; called for the music; and went
on to dancing with more zest and energy than ever, insomuch that the
attendant Glow-worms smiled to each other and nodded their heads.

Now it happened that every time the Glow-worms smiled their light
increased.  The lively young Cricket observed this, and began to wonder
whether their light would increase still more if they were to laugh.

"I'll try to find out," said he, going up to a small Glow-worm--
apparently a young one--and requesting her to step aside with him for a
moment.

The little Glow-worm immediately became grave--in other words, dim--and
went with him a little way into the woods.

"Now," said the lively young Cricket, stopping, "can you laugh?"

"What?" said the little Glow-worm smiling, and, of course, lighting up.

"Yes, that's it, smile away; but do it harder.  I want you to laugh
outright.  Can't you _laugh_?"

"Oh yes, when there is anything to laugh at."

"Well, do it now."

"But I can't, please."

"No; then I'll make you."

So saying, the young Cricket seized the little Glow-worm round the waist
and tickled her.

Of course she laughed at first, and, to the Cricket's delight, her face
became wonderfully bright for a moment; but suddenly it became dim, for
he hurt her, and she began to cry.

"You rascal!" exclaimed an angry voice, as the Grasshopper gave the
Cricket a kick that sent him head over heels into the grass; "I felt
sure you were after mischief, and I was right."

"Oh, _please_, don't kick him," pleaded the little Glow-worm.  "He
didn't mean to hurt me."

"No matter.  Get up, sir, and beg her pardon."

The young Cricket got up at once and did what he was bid, for he really
did not mean mischief, and was sorry he had hurt her; and little Miss
Glow-worm rewarded him with a smile so radiant that it illuminated the
spot where they stood quite brilliantly, and sparkled through her tears
with rainbow hues.

"Now I would laugh to please you if I could," said Miss Glow-worm, again
smiling.

"Oh, never mind, my dear.  I'll make you and all your kindred laugh
before the ball is over," said the lively young Cricket, hurrying away,
and going straight up to the Scotch Bee, who was clad in a tartan plaid
and kilt.

"Bee," said the Cricket, "can you dance the Highland Fling?"

"Ay, she can do that."

"I could show you a better fling than the Highland one," said the
Cricket.

"Ho! could ye? ye must be verra cliver.  Wull ye let her see't?"

"Yes, if you'll dance the Highland fling first?  Will you do it if Mrs
Butterfly asks you?"

The Scotch Bee good-naturedly agreed.  Of course, the Cricket had no
difficulty in persuading the hostess to ask him.  The musicians could
not play a reel; but this mattered not, for the Bee could hum to
himself.  Great was the delight and surprise of the company when they
beheld the Scotch Bee twirling his legs, snapping his fingers, and
humming the reel of Tulloch, while the tartans fluttered round him like
shreds of a shattered rainbow.

The dance waxed more and more furious, and the plaudits of the company
grew louder, when, suddenly, the lively young Cricket ran in between the
Bee's legs, tripped him up, and sent him sprawling on the grass.  A wild
shout of laughter burst from the company--Glow-worms included--and the
ball-room brightened up for a few moments as if it had been set on fire!

"That's the fling I spoke of," cried the Cricket, leaping up and running
away.

The Scotch Bee sprang up, drew his dirk, and gave chase, but Mr
Grasshopper caught him by the arm and dragged him off.

"Ho! friends--supper--supper!  This way.  Don't sheathe your dirk.  I
have a haggis ready for you to sheathe it in.  Come along; give your arm
to that bloated old Spider there.  She'll keep you in spirits."

The Bee was mollified.  He gave his arm to the Spider; then all the
company went off to sup in a neighbouring glade.  Shall we describe the
supper?  We think not.  It was beyond description delightful.  Just as
it was finished the moon rose from behind a cloud, so the company knew
that it was time to go home.

Before going away, they all assembled at the foot of the oak, and shook
claws with Lady Butterfly and Mr Grasshopper, saying that they were
charmed with the delightful evening they had spent, and that they hoped
to be soon invited again.

In a few minutes they were all gone.  The sounds of their laughing
voices, as they returned home, died gradually away, and the shadows of
night spread over the quiet forest and the happy little creatures that
slumbered there.





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