(Photo: I am not sure of the original of this but I found it on https://www.facebook.com/125989148197/posts/10157644436183198/ and it inspired this story.)
The Ladybird world was in shock and the largest Loveliness was called by the Grand Council to happen today in the safe realm of Down at the Bottom of the Garden. Ladybirds didn’t meet too often. They didn’t need to usually as the Clumsys that occupy the most space in the world and terrorize other creatures, in particular insects, quite like Ladybirds and leave them alone for the most part. All was not right in the world of Ladybirds today and they needed to do something.
The Loveliness was going to take a lot of organising as many of the Ladybirds couldn’t actually attend. A Buzz Meeting of Loveliness was suggested, which was a new idea and was becoming very popular. A Buzz Meeting involves asking the Honeybees to change their vibrations up a notch so all the Ladybirds could tune in at the same time. It seemed like a good plan as the distance was too far to fly, although Ladybirds have been known to fly 74 Clumsy miles (or just over 119 Clumsy kilometres). No wonder Clumsys are always fighting, they can’t even agree on measurement. All insects know far is as the crow flies and near is as near as makes no difference and that is all that is needed to know about measurements. It worked for insects longer than there ever was a Clumsy on the planet.
For a while now Ladybirds were finding their food was going scarce as the Clumsys used poison to rid their pretty roses of the aphids instead of waiting for Ladybirds to arrive, always impatient, never thinking of the consequences of their actions. Many Ladybirds died of the poison, more of hunger and then many birds also died. Then the Clumsys started spraying more and more poison in their houses, all around, wanting picture perfect homes that left no space for others.
Last week it got worse. Through the World Wide Web, the ingenious method of communication the insects had created by vibrating the very death traps of their arch nemesis, the spider, news spread quickly that a small gathering of Ladybirds, just looking for somewhere warm to hibernate for the winter, in a place their family had occupied since the beginning of time, were murdered and then another and another. The Clumsys were poisoning the world.
The Loveliness began with a lot of noise and mayhem, buzzing and beating of wings. A Loveliness of angry Ladybirds is nearly as scary as a swarm of bees, nearly but not.
“They are destroying the world. They need to be stopped.” shouted Richard.
“What good are they anyway? All they do is kill everyone and everything for stuff.” grumbled Paul.
Ann said ‘Order’ quietly and they all stopped. Even in anger, Ladybirds are mannerly.
Ann Ladybird, no, not that one, not the one who hid under the frying pan, was chairing this important meeting. It was Ann’s great, great, great, great, great, great, grandmother who was one of the reasons Ladybirds were loved by Clumsys and the last time they had to intervene. Generations of Clumsys sang the rhyme, drew pictures of Ladybirds and even called little troops of girl Clumsys after them. Ann opened the meeting and everyone engaged to find a solution to the stupidity of Clumsys.
“Now that we’ve that off our chest” said Ann quietly, “let’s work on a solution. Clumsys are not all bad, not at all and we had a very good relationship with them once, we can again.”
“How?” Many Ladybirds asked together as one.
“That is what we are here for, to figure it out.” said Ann.
“Clumsys used to be delighted to see us in their gardens ridding their Roses, Busy Lizzies, Geraniums and many other plants of Green Fly.” said Bríd,
“We do more than that, we are more than the job we do!” grumbled Paul.
“Yes, but Clumsys think of one problem at a time and try to deal with it separately to everything. They notice what benefits them now and not then or soon.” said Bríd.
“They have forgotten that everything is connected and works well together as Nature intended. We need to somehow teach them that.” said Ann. “They keep messing with the delicate balance of life.”
“It is not good enough!” shouted Richard. “In the last hundred years of their occupation of the planet they have done a lot of damage with this attitude.”
The Ladybirds, had been ignoring it for the most part as they were being left alone to do their thing but that has changed and they needed to intervene. They discussed ideas back and forth and didn’t notice a Clumsy was watching and listening. She took a photograph of the Ladybirds, googled on her phone, found out about how much Clumsys used to love them and what a group of Ladybirds are called.
“A Loveliness of Ladybirds, what a wonderful name!” She posted this online with her photo and it flew around the world faster than any Loveliness could.
Another Clumsy replied to her “Did you know that Ladybirds were called ‘God’s Little Cows’ by the ancients? That is Bóín Dé in Irish and Bozhya korovka in Russian if you’d like to know or even if you wouldn’t. ”
Another posted “Our ancestors loved Cows for the abundance they brought them and loved Ladybirds because they kept the pest away from their crops so it isn’t surprising they connected them all in a name.”
“That was when we knew everything was connected, now we only think in separate and individual.” answered another.
The replies continued. “We renamed them Ladybirds after the Lady Mary! Ladybirds were always loved in all their Loveliness.”
While this was going on in the Clumsy world the Ladybirds gathered in Lovelinesses all over their world, which is the same one, to tune in on the Buzz meeting and the Clumsys noticed and watched with interest, wishing they could understand. More and more pictures were posted and more and more Clumsys stopped to look and listen. In Down at the Bottom of the Garden and through Buzz the Ladybirds talked.
“We need to make loads of noise and be heard” shouted Paul.
“That will only get them annoyed and kill us quicker if they hear us buzzing angrily” grumbled Richard.
“I’m not sure we need to do much more than what we are doing now! ” said Bríd as she stood up and waved at the Clumsy watching them from above. The Clumsy smiled and took another photo. She posted it.
“I do believe this Ladybird is waving at me!” she commented. Soon all the Clumsys were noticing the small creatures, the tiny things that make everything work. All it took was a photo and a Loveliness to happen.