There she sat upon her flower with not a care in the world. The Cara was a beautiful golden butterfly edged in brown with a hint of cinnamon red at its center. This particular type of butterfly was found only in Italy where it liked to live along the sun-drenched coast.
Cara’s family had been brought to America two butterfly generations ago, about four human years, by an Italian farmer intent on expanding the population here in America.
When she was little, Cara’s grandfather used to sit with her in his old crumbling blue flower and tell her stories of their native land.
That far away beach with its mystic flower beds was on her mind this morning as she sat in her daffodil whiling away the pleasant summer day. Oh how she longed to go there and visit her family’s ancestral rose gardens where the flowers were always in bloom.
Cara was so lost in thought that she didn’t notice the big brown bear stumbling through the meadow until it was almost on top her.
With a big huff and sigh Cara rose up into the air on her golden wings and spoke to the big bear.
“What do you think you’re doing rambling through my field and trampling my flowers,” she cried out.
The bear was most taken aback by this comment and not simply because he’d never heard a butterfly speak to him before. He too had been lost in thought dreaming about all the honey he was about to eat.
The bear’s name was Coby by the way although that part isn’t important to the story. You see bears don’t usually call each other by name; they mostly go around snorting and huffing and banging into things so everyone tends to stay away from them.
“I’m sorry little butterfly, I was just taking a walk through the meadow to get some honey,” he rumbled in his deep bear voice. “I didn’t mean to bother you,” he added.
The butterfly and the big bear went on to have a perfectly normal conversation. That is, if you think conversations between bears and butterflies are normal.
Cara explained that she had been enjoying a pleasant afternoon in the sun when the bear had came along banging into all her flowers and crushing them.
The bear explained that he was trying to find some honey so he could eat and get fat because winter was coming and he needed to make a den and hibernate.
A large winter storm was in fact just around the corner and even now dark clouds were brewing in the sky just out of sight.
“Well,” said Cara after listening to the bear’s story, “I might as well show you where the bee’s honey is so you don’t go smashing more of my flowers.”
They both agreed that was a great solution and took off into the woods to find the bear some honey.
As they traveled through the woods the two soon became friends and they began to make plans to meet again.
“Here you go mister bear, the honey is right over there although how you plan on getting the bees to give it to you I don’t know,” said Cara as she turned and flitted away back to her sunny field.
“Don’t worry,” said the bear in his deep bear voice as he plodded over to the hive, “I’m good at getting honey.”
The next day as Cara sat on her lovely yellow rose petal she looked up at the sky and thought the clouds looked a little dark and ominous. She was worried about what would happen if it began to rain.
You see butterflies don’t build dens or dig in the ground. They only have their flowers to hide under and anyone who has hidden under a flower can tell you, they don’t provide much protection.
Cara was worried about her wings getting wet because she had just come from the wing salon and she didn’t want her wing perm getting damaged in the rain.
As Cara thought more and more about her wings and the dark cloudy sky she saw the bear come bumbling through her field crushing more of her flowers as he walked.
“What am I going to do with him,” she sighed to herself. “He’s very nice, but he keeps crushing all my pretty flowers. I know he doesn’t mean to, but he’s just so big.”
As she thought these things the bear ambled over to her and sat on his haunches in front of Cara’s flower.
“Hello little butterfly,” he said in his deep voice. “It’s a fine day don’t you think.”
Squinting her butterfly eyes Cara looked up at him, “If you say so, but I’m worried about the rain.”
“Oh yes,” he rumbled in his slow deep voice, “there’s rain coming and winter behind it.”
Just then a raindrop fell on Cara’s flower barely missing her.
“Oh no!” she cried as more raindrops began to fall. “What am I going to do?”
It took the bear a moment to realize why Cara was so upset. You see he had a big fur coat that kept him warm wherever he went, so he didn’t mind the rain. In fact sometimes he found it most refreshing.
“Come with me little one,” he rumbled as he scooped up Cara, flower and all and began ambling back through the forest the way he had come. He was careful to keep Cara and her flower underneath him and out of rain.
As they walked, the rain turned into a downpour and Cara was soon worried that even the big bear wouldn’t be able to protect her from all the rain.
The walk seemed to take a very long time to the little butterfly.
Then, all at once the rain stopped.
Cara poked her head out from underneath the big shaggy bear to look around and found herself in a cave. They were safe. The bear had carried her to his den where he planned to spend the winter.
“You’ll be safe here,” he rumbled.
Cara was so happy to be safe from the rain and at her journey’s end that she began to flap her butterfly wings and fly around the cave.
“Oh thank you so much mister bear,” she cried. “You saved me.”
The bear liked Cara so he was glad to have her in his cave, but he explained that in order to stay safe they had to stay in the cave until winter was over.
Cara had never been through a winter before, but thought, “how bad could it be,” and she began setting up her own little space in the big bear’s cave.
After many days went by though she began to tire of the bear’s cave. It was safe and out of the rain that was true, but it was also dark and cold and had no sunlight and no flowers. It made Cara sad.
The bear on the other hand was delighted to have Cara in his cave. He had never spent a winter with such a charming companion before or in fact any companion at all.
Everyone the bear met stayed away from him and didn’t come to visit, which meant he was alone a lot of the time.
The bear loved to see the Cara butterfly fly across his cave; he loved to look at her beautiful golden wings and watch as she spun and dove and flitted around from place to place.
Inside he knew she was sad, but he didn’t know what to do about it because he was only a bear.
Bears spend the winter in their caves and then come out during the spring when it’s warm and it was still winter so that meant he had to stay in his cave.
He liked his home well enough, but he could tell Cara didn’t. She was meant to be outside in the sunlight enjoying the warm summer breezes and flitting from flower to flower.
Finally, one day the rain stopped falling and Cara very cautiously peeked her butterfly head outside the cave.
Sure enough, the clouds were all gone and the sun was out.
Winter was ending and while it would be cold for a while yet, the worst was over.
“I have to go see my family,” Cara told the bear. “I miss them so terribly much. I’m going to fly to my field today and see them now that it’s stopped raining.”
The big brown shaggy bear hung his head in sadness as he imagined his life without the little golden butterfly he had come to love so much.
“OK,” was all he said.
Cara lifted herself into the air and flapped her wings, flying out into the shining light of day.
“Don’t worry I’ll be back, I just miss everyone so much,” she cried as she flew away.
The bear settled back into his cave and watched as she flew away. He became very sad as he pictured his butterfly flying farther and farther away from him. Although he knew she would be happy where she was going, he also knew he would be sad without her.
After a long time, he lay down on the floor of his cave and put his bear head on his bear paws and stared out at the forest.
“Bye bye Cara,” he whispered at last. “I hope you come back one day.”
He stayed like that for a long time just lying on the floor of his cave with his head on his paws as he stared off into the forest. He spent many days lying there and finally so many days had gone by he guessed the Cara butterfly wasn’t coming back and he was very sad.
That’s when he heard it.
It sounded like butterfly wings, but more butterfly wings than he had ever heard before.
He rushed to the mouth of his cave to look out and he saw Cara’s whole butterfly family flapping their way through the forest toward him.
He was so happy he ran out to meet them and tossed his big bear head and smiled his big bear smile, ”Oh Cara, I’m so happy to see you! I thought you weren’t coming back.”
She flew right up to him and perched on his nose, “Of course I was coming back silly. I just had to find my family first and now we can all live together,” she said. ”If that’s alright of course.”
The bear just smiled his big bear smile, “Of course it’s alright,” he said.
And the whole big butterfly family moved into the bear’s cave where they were able to stay nice and dry all year round.
And they all lived happily ever after.