My cousin Carol Schroeder has completed another illustration for a scene from my novel. My hero Peter has gone on an adventure on horseback with his good friend Joe when Joe becomes trapped in quicksand. It’s fall and the monarch butterflies are migrating. Joe and Peter see them everywhere.
There in front of us blanketing every tree branch in sight, hovering over rocks, perched on flowers and clinging to grass stalks are thousands and thousands of orange and black butterflies.
“What are they doing here?” I ask softly.
“Stopping for night. On their way to Mexico for winter.”
“Land sakes! That’s a longer trip than the one my family is making from Kansas to Canada.”
“Let’s get up a little closer.”
Joe takes two steps forward and stops. He turns around. His eyes are wide and wild.
“I can’t move! My feet are stuck! I’m sinking. Help me Peter.”
Later Peter goes for help to get Joe out of the quicksand and when he comes back with Joe’s father and other relatives this scene greets their eyes.
Joe is no longer in the quicksand. He is lying just as still as can be. Prince stands at Joe’s head nuzzling his hair. Bunches of butterflies are perched on Joe’s muddy pant legs, on his toes, on his bare arms and along the rope still wrapped around his chest and still attached to Prince’s saddle horn. As Mr. Little Thunder bends his head to lay his ear on Joe’s chest, the butterflies rise slow and gentle as morning fog and flutter off.
To see another illustration Carol did for my novel check out this post.