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Natalie's New Home
Amy, Age 10, Seoul, South Korea

On the leaf of a rose, a ladybug family lived. This family was the nine-spotted ladybug. There was a mother, father, and their daughter, whose name was Natalie.

One day, the mother was busy looking for some plant louse, and the father was too busy reading a book that they didn’t notice humans coming! When the humans had reached their hand down, that’s when the mother started crying, “Oh dear, fly away! Fly far away!” and the father was crying, “Don’t worry about us! Run away!”

Poor little Natalie couldn’t fly yet nor she could run quickly. She had tears in her eyes and waved good-bye.

“Mother, Father, I will be okay,” she said. “I will return someday and…”
Before she could finish what she was saying, a human reached down and stuffed her into a clear bag. It kind of hurt when she landed, but no time to worry about that.

‘Good-bye,’ she thought, ‘maybe I’ll see you in heaven.’

She lost her hope and cried.

In their house, Natalie was put in a little cage. She couldn’t see her house very well.
‘How am I going to survive here?’ thought Natalie.

She was very hungry, but there was no place to find food. She decided to take a nap.

“Zzz…”

When she woke up, the humans were right in front of her! She thought she was going to die. But to her surprise, they opened the cage and gave her an apple core. She nibbled away very quickly.

‘I guess it might be okay,’ thought Natalie. ‘I just have to wait a little bit longer like this and when the cage is open, I will return to my house. Wait, but I can I do it? I can’t fly or run quickly. The window is often closed, so even though I escape from the cage, I won’t be able to go home right away.”

Every day, she thought of how to escape.

Meanwhile, the mother and father were worrying.

“Oh, what will they do to poor Natalie?” sobbed the mother. “I wish I had been captured instead of her.”

“Yes,” cried the father. “It is my fault. I should have taught her how to fly instead of reading a book.”

Well, Natalie’s parents were worrying very much, but Natalie was actually having a good time. They fed her excellent meals, and she could sleep whenever she wanted to, and she could do whatever she wanted to do. However, she did not have anyone to talk with. The human had a different language from the ladybug, and they could not understand each other. She was very bored, so she collected some plants in the cage and put them in one place. She started to make something. Natalie was an expert at making something. She had made a notebook! She needed a pencil, so she got a small rock and began to write her journal. She listed all her ideas. Here is one of her diaries:

‘Dear diary,

I finally thought of a great idea. I should practice flying every day, and I will find a good place to hide, and when the window opens, I will fly away! To make the humans think that I am still there, I will make a duplication of me! What a fantastic idea!’

Well, Natalie had finally thought of a great idea! She could now see her parents. But she was also kind of feeling sorry for the humans. She had actually made friends with them, and they were very nice. Even though they couldn’t communicate, Natalie could feel their friendship.

One day, there was a chance to fly away. The humans went on a trip, and they had opened the cage by an accident. Natalie went back to her family.

“Mother? Father? Are you there?”

“Who is it?” asked the mother. “Good gracious! Is this true? Am I seeing Natalie?”

“Yes mother, I had escaped!” cried Natalie. “Where is father?”

“He is reading the morning newspaper,” said the mother. “Come in.”

“Well, mom,” said Natalie, “I sort of want to go back.”

“What?” cried the mother. “How come?”

“Well,” explained Natalie, “it’s not so bad. I mean, they give me good food and they are really nice. They’re on vacation for three days, so I will show you where I live.”

Natalie and her family flew to the cage. There was a desk, a notebook, pencil, and a duplication of Natalie.

“Natalie, did you make all this stuff?” asked the mother.

“Yes,” said Natalie. “I was kind of bored, so I made these things.”

The family thought about where to live. At the end, they decided to move into the cage and live together. When the humans returned, they noticed that Natalie had brought her family. They always opened the cage so that they could go out whenever they wanted to. The ladybugs learned how to speak in English, so they could also communicate. They lived very happily ever after.

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