July 14th – Jessie Meets Mildred the Monarch

“Your tail is in my face!”

Jessie turned around looking for the voice but she couldn’t see anybody near her tail. She flopped down in the dirt in Molly’s garden and looked for Santa and Molly.  The voice didn’t sound like either of her friends but Jessie wondered if they were playing a trick on her.

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Image by Jim, the Photographer – Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) – No changes made

“I said your tail is in my face and I don’t like it.  If you would please look at me then we can have a proper conversation.”

The voice was tiny but authoritative and Jessie immediately hopped up from the ground and turned to look behind her.  She she still couldn’t see anything. The tip of her tail moved downwards to the ground and her ears fell.  She moved her eyes sideways looking through the flowers to see where the intruder hid.

“I’m down here,” said the voice. “On the pink morning glory at your right foot.”

Jessie looked down and sighed.  The only thing she could see was a Monarch butterfly.  Could the butterfly be talking to her?

“I’m Mildred and I’m a fairy bug.  You’ve heard of me haven’t you?  I’m sure Molly and Santa must have told you about me.  It’s my job to make sure the bees pollinate the flowers correctly in Santa’s garden so that the Candy Cane trumpets and Sugar Cookie Pops grow correctly. I’ve seen you hopping around the garden these past few weeks and I thought I’d introduce myself.  I was wondering if you would do me a favour.”

Jessie looked at the butterfly fairy.  She was confused.  She had never heard of Mildred and she wondered how she could help a fairy.  But if Mildred worked for Molly then she would help if she could.  Jessie happily yipped at the Monarch and lowered her nose so that she could look directly at the butterfly’s head.

“I’m afraid I’ve caught a summer cold and am rather tired today.  Do you think you could carry me over to the Cotton Candy Sticks.  They seem to be a rather odd colour and I have to fix the problem.”  Mildred sneezed in Jessie’s face.  Jessie shook her head, sniffed  and then nodded.  She waited while Mildred climbed onto her head and then skipped the short distance across the garden.  When she stopped Mildred waveringly flew over to a Cotton Candy Stick that had turned orange.

“Those darned bees!  Their always mixing up flowers.  I specifically told them that you couldn’t pollinate the Cotton Candy with Marigold pollen.  It turns the candy a horrendous colour.”  Mildred busily moved her legs in a motion and then flipped back onto Jessie’s head.  “That should fix the problem.   Now, Jessie, can you take me to Santa please I have a message from the fairy guild for him.”

Jessie obediently scampered across the garden to a lime green and purple polka dotted hammock.  Santa was snoring in the hammock.  Jessie nudged the hammock with her nose and watched as Santa moved back and forth in the wind.  He snorted and then awoke with a start.  Santa looked down at Jessie and smiled.  His eyes opened wide when he saw Mildred.

“I see you’ve met Mildred, Jessie.  It looks like you’ve been helping her about the garden.”  He smiled and patted Jessie on her back.

“How are you, Mildred.  You’ve been doing a find job overseeing the bees.  The crop looks especially good this year.”  Santa smiled and pushed his sunglasses up his nose.  He picked up his sunscreen and began to cover his arms.

“Lady Arial, our queen, asked me to give you a message.”  Mildred slowly flew up and landed on Santa’s red and black plaid shirt.  “She wanted me to tell you that Jack Frost has a bad chest cold and that if it does not get better soon the nights may get warmer.  His temperature is very high and it is affecting the weather.”

Santa frowned.  “That’s bad news, Mildred.  We depend on Jack to regulate the temperature and our weather is already running warmer than it should be.  I’ll have to have our doctor visit Jack.  Can you please tell Lady Arial that we will visit tomorrow?  We will bring  the doctor and hot soup.”  Santa lifted the Monarch up to his face and smiled.  “It looks like you have caught Jack’s cold as well.  Perhaps, you should meet with the doctor as well.  We don’t want our star pollinator to be sick.”  Santa smiled and gently put Mildred on Jessie’s back.

“Jessie, take Mildred to the sunflower gate so she can go home and rest.  Tomorrow we tend to the sick.  Now, I just think I’ll lie down and have another nap. That sun is so wonderful at this time of year.”  Santa turned over and began to snore in his hammock.  It swung from side to side with his breath.

Jessie obediently trotted over to the sunflower gate where Mildred hopped off and said goodbye. Jessie was happy that she was going to see her old friend Jack Frost even if he was sick.  Maybe, she thought, she’d get to meet the fairy queen as well.  Jessie sniffed the sunflowers and then trotted away across the garden into the summer sun.

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