The Butterfly, the Ladybug, and the Phoebe

A phoebe, bugwinner for a nestful of fledglings, flew out one day to provide dinner for his family, and came upon a ladybug in frantic flight.

“I know you can catch anything smaller than a golf ball and slower than sound,” said the ladybug, “for you are the fastest of the fly-catchers, but my house is on fire and my children will burn unless I fly away home.”

The phoebe, who had sometimes been guilty of wishing that his own house were on fire, let the ladybug fly away, and turned his attention to a beautiful butterfly.

“Is your house on fire and will your children burn?” the phoebe asked.

“Nothing so mundane as all that,” said the butterfly. “I have no children and I have no house, for I am an angel, as anyone can see.” She fluttered her wings at the world about her. “This is heaven,” she said.

“This is heaven,” cried the fledglings, as one fledgling, when they had the butterfly for dessert that night.

MORAL: She who goes unarmed in Paradise should first be sure that’s where she is.

The Butterfly, the Ladybug, and the Phoebe

James Thurber

James Grover Thurber (December 8, 1894 – November 2, 1961) was an American cartoonist, author, humorist, journalist, playwright, and celebrated wit. He was best known for his cartoons and short stories published mainly in The New Yorker magazine, such as "The Catbird Seat", and collected in his numerous books. He was one of the most popular humorists of his time, as he celebrated the comic frustrations and eccentricities of ordinary people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *