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A story for children aged 1-5 years
Lena and the Secret of the Butterflies
My name is Lena. My parents and I live in a small house at the edge of a large meadow. I like to play catch and hide-and-seek there with my friends. In the summer, when it's warm and all the flowers are in bloom, we see a lot of butterflies there. They are colourful and their wings glow in the light. We're always so happy to see them and we love to chase them. One evening, when I came home, I wanted to know from my mum why butterflies are so colourful and why they always make me and my friends so happy. Mum didn't know. Dad couldn't tell me either. Didn't anyone know? I went to bed feeling a little sad. No one could answer my questions. The next day I went out early to play. It was the summer holidays. I saw an old woman in the middle of the meadow among all the flowers and butterflies. I slowly approached her. I was a little uncertain. Mum always says you shouldn't talk to strangers. But the old woman seemed nice. And apart from that, I could run faster than her. So I went up to her and said, "Hello, I'm Lena. What are you doing?"
The woman looked at me for a long time and smiled. "Hello Lena. I'm Sofia and I'm talking to the butterflies." "Butterflies can't talk!" I said, annoyed. This woman was certainly fibbing. A little uncertainly, I said, "If you can talk to them, then tell me why they're so colourful and why they make me so happy!" Sofia laughed again and replied, "Oh, that's easy. This butterfly here is called Beeper and he's already 196 hours old. He knows everything. I can ask him." Then she closed her eyes and hummed quietly. The butterfly she called Beeper slowly settled on her outstretched hand. His little head seemed to incline forwards slightly. After a while, which seemed like forever to me, she opened her eyes and Beeper fluttered away. Sofia smiled softly. "Beeper has told me everything. Do you want to know what the secret of the butterflies is?" "Of course!" I exclaimed. I was already itching with impatience. "Very well then, listen carefully and don't interrupt." And she began to tell me the secret:
"Every butterfly is born brown and bland. So, to get their colours, every young butterfly has to pass a small test. Early in the morning, when the sun is rising and dew still covers all the plants, the butterfly has to find a spider's web with a hole in the middle. The hole has to be large enough for it to be able to fly through. Once the butterfly has found such a spider's web, it must fly through it. Spider webs have magical powers, as I'm sure you already know. The web can judge the butterfly's character and as soon as the butterfly has flown through, it receives its colours. If it has a kind character, its wings become almost completely red. If it loves being free, they become more blue. But the spider's web doesn't only give it its colours. It also gives it a task. Butterflies have to help people laugh more. If a person has a problem or is sad, a butterfly is sure to fly by. From its small wings it casts a magical dust that makes people happy. Butterflies are like miniature messengers of joy." And with these words, Sofia got up. "Now you know the secret of the butterflies. Keep it safe and don't tell anyone else about it." Giddy from hearing the story, I cried after her, "But why isn't anyone allowed to know? And how can I talk to butterflies, too? Is everything you told me true?" But Sofia had already gone and couldn't hear me anymore. And just as I started to feel a little sad because I had so many unanswered questions, a butterfly flew past. I couldn't take my eyes off of it and I was immediately happy again. Singing, I went back home.