Illustrations by EDWINA. Cover design by Paul Thompson
Published by www.trafford.com
Thadeus looked at him curiously. As a wild creature, he found that the constant challenge of survival was an exhilarating one. He still wasn’t sure what to make of his domesticated cousins and their tendency to philosophise like humans.
“So, you’re looking for the Buttlefly? ” he said, changing the mood.
“Apparently so,” said Alphonse in reply, “Although, I’m not entirely convinced that one exists.”
“Oh, they exist all right,” Thadeus nodded vigorously “I just wouldn’t hold your breath waiting to find one. Ten years I’ve lived around here and I’ve never come across one yet.”
“So what makes you so sure they exist?”
“My father,” Thadeus paused before continuing, a sadness rising in his eyes. Alphonse sensed a change in his companion and waited for him to continue.
“Many years ago, before I was born, my father found one, dying. And he told me that in that moment he wept ten lifetimes of tears at the loss of such beauty. He said that he tried to help but there was nothing he could do. The Buttlefly spoke to him, reassured him, trying to put his mind at ease. It asked him what it was he most wanted in his life, and, in those last few seconds, it transformed itself into an iridescent ball of light that shimmered rainbow kaleidoscopes across the sky before flashing through him and vanishing. Not too long after, I was born.”
Thadeus paused, a slight shiver running from his scruff down to the tip of his bushy tail. He looked at Alphonse and shrugged self-deprecatingly,
“A son was what m y father told the Buttlefly he wanted most.”
A silence rested between the two for a long moment. N o words were necessary from either of them .Even Julia, in the sunlight, paused in her work, as if she too had sensed the solemnity that blew past her on the breeze.
Thadeus coughed and shook out his brush. Too much sentiment didn’t sit well in his wild heart. Alphonse merely nodded, aware that he had been one of very few to hear this magic tale.
“I wouldn’t trust their motives,” said Thadeus, more brusquely, “but Spiff and Spaff were probably right about where you might be near a Buttlefly. Trust me, though, you’ll only find one if it wants to be found.”
“Thank you… friend,” said Alphonse as he glanced over to Julia. She was just getting to her feet, clutching a blue and white garland of the prettiest, woodland flowers.
Thadeus leaned in for a final sniff and slowly backed into the thick shadows of the undergrowth.
“Be lucky , and be watchful, old man,” and with a final flick of is magnificent tail he was gone from sight, just as Julia skipped up to Alphonse’ shoulder.
All standard outlets ISBN 1-41204501-0
or online through www.trafford.com
Julia and the hunt for the magical, mysterious Buttlefly will soon be available on the Apple iPad