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Erin Cleary

  • Erin Cleary

Ladybug's Missing Spots

Like March, April will be another month of great writing activities. My March metaphor continues as I work to boil down my writing to its most important elements then to build it back up to create something worth reading. (See Boiling It Down (

Today, I am entering the Spring Fling KidLit Contest hosted by Kaitlyn Leanne Sanchez ( and Ciara O'Neal ( The stories submitted must be boiled down to no longer than 150 words, have a spring theme, and be accompanied by a corresponding gif. When my daughter suggested a ladybug who had lost her spots, I got to thinking about ladybug development, how when they emerge from their larval skin for the final time they are pale in color and have no spots. What if a little ladybug really believed her precious spots had gone missing?

The little ladybug is my metaphor for this month. She must learn to wait patiently to develop into what she is supposed to become. We all are waiting for something. I am waiting to become a published author, which requires work as well as patience. But like the ladybug, with a little patience, we all will one day find our spots.

I hope you enjoy my Spring Fling entry!


Ladybug’s Missing Spots

Erin Cleary – 149 words

Young Ladybug caught her first reflection in a dewdrop. Her pale-red back was empty. Not a single spot!

“Where are my spots?” She looked around on the fresh, green leaf. No spots had fallen there.

“Have you seen my spots?” she asked Grasshopper.

“Just wait.” Grasshopper smiled kindly.

“Have you seen my spots?” she asked Worm.

“Soon.” Worm winked playfully.

For hours, she crawled around the garden, fretfully searching.

“Do you know where my spots are? ” she asked Cicada. "I have to find my spots.”

“Have patience. They will come.” Cicada nodded knowingly.

Little Ladybug was puzzled.




She munched a few aphids and thought. Her mind wandered, daydreaming of bright, blue skies.




Ladybug hurried to find another dewdrop.

“My spots! You found me.” Perfect black spots on a deep-red back.

Ladybug unfolded her wings and flew up, up, up toward her dream.


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