NE morning early in June, a fat and shining May Beetle lay
on his back among the grasses, kicking his six legs in the
air, and wriggling around while he tried to catch hold of a
"Oh, yes," he said, "you are quick enough to laugh when you think somebody else is in a fix. I often lie on my back and kick, just for fun." (Which was not true, but when Beetles are cross they are not always truthful.)
"Excuse me," said the Caterpillar, "I did not mean to hurt your feelings. If I smiled, it was because I remembered being in the same plight myself yesterday, and what a time I had smoothing my fur afterwards. Now, you won't have to smooth your fur, will you?" she asked pleasantly.
"No, I'm thankful to say I haven't any fur to smooth," snapped the Beetle. "I am not one of the crawling, furry kind. My family wear dark brown, glossy coats, and we always look trim and clean. When we want to hurry, we fly; and when tired of flying, we walk or run. We have two kinds of wings. We have a pair of dainty, soft ones, that carry us through the air, and then we have a pair of stiff ones to cover over the soft wings when we come down to the earth again. We are the finest family in the meadow."
"I have often heard of you," said the Caterpillar, "and am very glad to become acquainted."
"Well," answered the Beetle, "I am willing to speak to you,
of course, but we can never be at all friendly. A
"Upper circles, indeed!" said a croaking voice beside him,
which made the Beetle jump, "I have hopped over your head
for two or three years, when you
were nothing but a fat,
white worm. You'd better not put on airs.
The fine family of
The May Beetle began to look very uncomfortable, and
squirmed as though he wanted to get away, but the
The May Beetle scraped his head with his right front leg, and then said to the Caterpillar, who was nibbling away at the milkweed: "You know, I wasn't really in earnest about our not being friends. I shall be very glad to know you, and all your family."
"Thank you," answered the Caterpillar, "thank you very much,
but I have been thinking it over myself, and I feel that I
really could not be friendly with a