There was a proper Ladybug who loved to smile and stare
at her beautiful reflection. She thought she was as rare
and pretty as a wild rose – especially her spots.
They were her pride and glory, those black and lovely dots.
For every year she was alive, another dot appeared.
She had four spots already, but what she really feared
was that she did not look like heaven,
the way she thought she would with seven.
She made a paint of mud and clay,
and with her antennae she mixed it all day,
and at night she reached back to her pretty red shell,
and added three spots. She never would tell
where they came from. This Ladybug was so proud
and felt so grown up. She would shout it out loud!
But her friends talked about her, laughed behind her shell.
“Have you seen her fake mud-spots? She thinks they look swell!
We all know she’s only a four-year-old bug…
but she’s not like a lady… she’s more like a slug.”
The Ladybug heard them. Tears came to her eyes.
And then the clouds gathered. Rain fell from the skies.
Her shell was washed clean, and she gasped in despair.
The other bugs told her, “Lady dear, we don’t care.
We think that you’re beautiful just as you are.
Have the courage to trust that, and you will go far.”
Don’t be vain. Don’t fool your friends. Be proud of who you really are.
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