Bedtime story: cooties

Once upon a time there was a girl. This girl was lonely, but one day she discovered a hidden world in her backyard.

Inside this world were all sorts of insects, who weren’t really bugs in her mind.

One of them was a roly-poly. Cute, and fun to watch and play with. It was one of the first bugs she really liked.

She also found a grasshopper. At first she didn’t know what to think of it because it jumped right in her face and startled her. Then it hopped around in so many different directions that it was hard to keep up with, but as she followed along, she began to see the beauty in its wings, and the excitement in its life.

She made wonderful friends with a caterpillar that was beautiful, and interesting and would kind of tickle as it climbed on her finger.

Even the spiders enchanted her with their intricate webs and amazing abilities.

Butterflies came through at times and their presence brightened her day although sometimes she wished they had stayed longer.

The backyard became a place she clung to, a place she went when happy, or sad, or anything. She loved it. It was where she felt she could truly be herself.

One day the girl got sick and wasn’t allowed to go out and play. It was a difficult illness and even as she began to heal, she didn’t have the same desire to go to the backyard as she had before.

In her absence, some of the insects died, some had moved on, after all, they were just bugs, and she, just a girl.

When she finally did feel up to going out and playing in the backyard, she couldn’t find all the bugs she had before, but some were still there. She remembered and had missed them, and believe it or not, they had remembered and missed her.

Turns out friends don’t have to look like you or live where you live, or even keep in constant contact. Friends just have to care. Caring can soften even the hardest hearts.

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