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The Butterfly's Ball

R. M. Ballantyne

Book Overview: 

The gadfly, dormouse, mole, hare, and other creatures prepare for the elegant, glittering Butterfly Ball and Grasshopper Feast. Nature notes on each animal are appended.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Chapter Two. The Butterfly’s Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast.

Come, take up your hats, and away let us haste

To the Butterfly’s ball and the Grasshopper’s feast;

For the trumpeter Gadfly has summoned his crew,

And the revels are now only waiting for you.


On the smooth-shaven grass by the side of the wood,

Beneath a broad oak that for ages has stood,

See the children of earth, and the tenants of air,

For an evening’s amusement together repair.

It was very early one delightful morning in summer, when the trumpeter Gadfly sounded his horn, inviting all the insects in the forest to the Butterfly’s ball and the Grasshopper’s feast. The sun shone brightly, the air was mild and soft, and the scent of the wild flowers delicious, so that not one of the insects thought of staying at home. Butterflies, Beetles, Bees, Wasps, Snails, Grassho. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A charming and delightful childrens story that shows the other side of R.M. Ballantyne. He truly did have a wonderful and enthralling imagination for all types of stories. This tale is almost like a Beatrix Potter type of work. Ballantyne illustrated this as well. He drew and painted quite well.

This book is a wonder. It is a bunch of poems about all the insects going to the ball. There is a album of the poems that were written into songs. (It took me years to find the album)

Surprisingly good children's book from the 1800's. I enjoyed it's quirky fantasy and well written verse.