The Spotless Ladybird
The little spotless ladybird had lost all hopes. He was born without spots. And moreover, he was just a pale cream-colored creature. These two traits were enough for every other fancy beautifully spotted ladybird to mock and to belittle him. In the beauteous land of the ladybirds, to be outwardly beautiful, was to be accepted. Beauty of the spots was what they all were proud of. Nobody now befriended him, nobody allowed him to climb on the tall grass and swing on it holding the tip of it, nobody even talked to him. He was socially excluded from the fancy ladybird community. He did not even have a family; his parents had become the prey to a chameleon. He had no one to call his own in this ladybird world.
All was depressing in his life, till a miraculously wonderful, awesomely fantastic miracle enlightened itself like a candle of hope in his life. This brilliant miracle was scary at first (actually very scary), tender and balmy after that, and like a forever joy to his life afterwards. Let me talk straight and demonstrate what actually happened:
One day, the spotless ladybird, was sitting, as usual alone with no one to talk to and in a depressed mood. Manu, the little plump boy who lived near the little garden of the ladybirds came and sat close to him. Manu was also in a bad mood. His father had reprimanded him for bringing lots of ladybirds and other pets in the home. Manu was a ladybird lover, whenever he chanced upon a fancy little ladybird, he would spread his hand for the ladybird to climb, the ladybird would climb, then Manu would take it to his little room to play. Manu looked at the odd spotless one and just said,” Hu..nh!!!” And then said,”Shooo!!!” to make the ladybird fly. But the ladybird was in such a bad mood, that he would rather die, than fly and go to his cruel community. Manu found this curious. Such a creature, many times littler than the little boy should defy him. Something must be wrong, he thought. (Manu was a good boy, he cared for the feelings of not only people, but animals too). And he was almost certain that something must be wrong. Now, he looked closer, and and the ladybird was SPECIAL, he thought, it was ABSOLUTELY spotless. He cupped his hands affectionately near the little ladybird. The ladybird without spots was scared to his tentacles, so scared, that he even forgot flying. That spotless one then held his breath and jumped off the seat to be captured by Manu in mid-air.
Manu then took the ladybird to his room and placed him on the leaf of a plant, which was part of a little private garden: home to the other ladybirds brought in by Manu. Manu was delighted. He now had a special spotless ladybird to care about. The spotless one was now fed properly, and it could now play and frolic as it wished to. Manu after completing his homework would curiously and animatedly stare at the SPECIAL ladybird. Manu made a friend in the ladybird and named it Mr. No-spots. Mr. No-spots also came out of its depression and became open to Manu. It would fly and sit on his nose, then on his forehead, on his finger. It was loved by Manu and loved Manu in return. It opened its little tentacles (legs and hands) to hug Manu on his nose.
Days passed, and their bond grew stronger. Manu would never go anywhere without his Mr. No-spots. Mr. No-spots would remain hugging his nose most of the time, but in times of danger, was put in his pocket by Manu. Even though the spotless ladybird was very little, Manu could feel that it was never afraid and loved Manu as much as Manu loved it. It was a pet with no nuisance, just sweet love.
Now it was Manu’s birthday and he was gifted a little lemon-yellow parakeet with orange beak and orange chest with the orange on the chest blended beautifully like a sunset with the lemon yellow of its body. Manu fell in love with the parakeet at first sight. It was named Miss Sunset Parakeet by Manu. It was placed in a beautiful silver cage with lots of space. Mr. No-spots looked at fancy Miss Sunset and instantly felt the old pangs of complex about its own appearance.
The Parakeet took all of Manu’s attention. The spotless ladybird was neglected. Manu would run with joy, with Miss sunset perched on his shoulder. Mr. No-spots looked at Manu with eyes, thirsty for love. It soon became depressed and remained in a corner of the leaf. He had no one to call his own. He stopped moving altogether and left all the hope in life. He kept on looking at Manu, doing this and that, and this looking, became his life. He had no way by which he could express his love, and his need for love.
Miss sunset was a fancy and arrogant bird, which reminded Mr. No-spots of the ladybirds in the fancy community, who had excluded him. Miss sunset was beautiful, but a nuisance. Manu loved it dearly, but it always had demands like green and red chillies, and the moment the demands were met, it would ask for something else. It would hop in its silver cage, make shrieking noises and move his head in all directions. Manu’s friends, who were fascinated by it at first, now, called it a mad bird.
One day, as the fancy parakeet was moving its head, sitting in its silver cage, its glance fell upon the spotless ladybird. The next time, Manu took it out to play, it pecked on the leaf, on which the ladybird sat. Half of the leaf was in its mouth then. It was a close save for the ladybird. A few centimeters more, and it would have been the end of his life. Manu noticed this, and his little eyes widened with fear. Miss sunset was put back in the cage and sold to a bird-man the next day.
Manu started loving his Mr. No-spots once more. Now, Mr. No-spots got all the Manu’s attention, and it remained like that, till the ladybird lived. There came so many more pets in the house for Manu, but the little spotless ladybird was always loved more than anyone, for it was really, really special…
© Manan sheel.