Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Ladybug Wars

It was a beautiful September day as I sat on a green lounge chair in my backyard basking in the sunshine and enjoying all the flowers in bloom.

But suddenly 20 ladybugs from my neighbor's yard flew in a cluster into my two foot tall snapdragon plants and leveled twin red flowered snapdragons with a crash, killing themselves, other ladybugs...

It was tragic.

As I was still absorbing what happened, a ladybug from the western side of my yard known as "The Decider" began calling for war against the ladybugs in my neighbor's yard.

Soon thousands of ladybugs were off to the nearby cement quarry, lifting tiny particles of sand and heading to my neighbor's yard, where they bombarded the ladybugs there.

After many flights to the quarry, large numbers of my neighbor's ladybugs including their children lay dead and my neighbor's yard was a mess.

"The Decider" called this "Operation Enduring Freedom" but all I saw was many ladybugs from my yard occupying my neighbor's yard. There was no freedom.

And soon some of my neighbor's ladybugs were picking up some of the sand around them and from high in the air dropping it on my ladybugs, as the war continued.

This was bad, but the next day it got much worse.

"The Decider" was flying in circles and at the top of his lungs, claimed the ladybugs on the east side of my yard had "Weapons of Mass Destruction," all the while scaring the ladybugs on the west side of my yard.

"Where are those weapons," I asked him, "And what are they." But he never answered.

Suddenly thousands more ladybugs from the west side of my yard flew off to the quarry and returned to repeatedly bombard the ladybugs on the east side, killing many of them and causing others to flee to neighboring yards.

The east side of my yard was a mess.

"The Decider" called his action "Operation East-side Freedom" but all I could see was a pile of sand and many west side ladybugs occupying the east side. There was no freedom.

Soon the east side ladybugs began fiercely dropping the sand back on the west side ladybugs killing some of them. But "The Decider" called this his "War on Terror" and fought on.

However, as the fighting in my yard proved endless the ladybugs on the west side elected a new leader, one calling himself "Hope and Change."

But under "Hope and Change," the only change was to spread the war to yards all over the neighborhood and eventually the west side ladybugs lost hope.

I had had enough.

Early one morning in the darkness, I stood on a stump, raised my hands and called out, "Let there be light." In response, my wife Anne flipped on all the backyard lights.

"You are all ladybugs," I proclaimed. "And you should love each other and forgive each other. You must learn to turn the other cheek when some ladybugs strike you and be compassionate to everyone. I also said something about the meek inheriting Anne's and my yard.

Then I added, "You've turned our yard into a sand wasteland, making what used to be a beautiful yard almost unlivable to you and to all the creatures.

Because ladybugs live short lives, many of you don't even know why you are fighting. These wars are madness. You will now make peace with each other."

That day the scribes noted my words and termed them,"The Sermon on the Stump."

Now that peace had been restored, I took my garden hose and gently washed away all the sand in my neighbors' yard and mine, and nature soon restored the beauty that had existed before the wars.

And all the ladybugs swore they had learned their lesson about the brutality and futility of war and would now live forever more in love and harmony.

But the next day as I sat on my green lounge chair, I heard leaders from the west side ladybugs saying something about the east side ladybugs having an abundance of water, and suggesting they should capture some of that water.

With a sigh, I thought to myself, "When will they ever learn?"

"This neighborhood is the only world you have," I said to the west side lady bugs. "If you destroy it, you will destroy yourselves and all the creatures and all the flowers that live here.

All that I ask of you is, "Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Can you do that?"

"Yes," they assured me.

As of this writing, there is peace in the neighborhood. The roses and begonias and snapdragons are in bloom in a sea of reds and pinks and whites, and the ladybugs are living happily together. in this tiny piece of heaven.


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