A Great Oaks Story, by Coco
Gerald! What a fabulous name. He’s sat on my hand- but how did he end up there? I think it’s time to find out…
Gerald is a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly. They are pretty common and lucky enough to live for around nine months. If you look around in the autumn or the summer, you are sure to find them hiding somewhere outside. Our problem is they start hibernating in September and should wake up at some point in the spring to continue their short lives.
Gerald must have woken up today… A near freezing day in December! Everybody has their problems, but Gerald’s might mean life or death. He first appeared at some point during first break, about an hour ago, and was soon found by another student, who then gave him a tour of the school. He got to meet lots of students and narrowly avoided ‘death by Alfie’! It wasn’t Alfie’s fault but he nearly collided with Gerald. He then got moved from person to person and sat nicely on everyone’s hand…
… Until I picked him up and he jumped to the ground. Somehow he survived that without any injuries.
By this point, break-time was over. Gerald had to go. Bowdie carried him and carefully hid him on a fence post, out of danger for now. Half-way through the next lesson (this one!) I realised that Gerald should be hibernating and that he had woken up too early.
I demanded that we go on a Gerald-Hunt! On the journey, Gareth (my teacher) and I picked up Bowdie (Gerald’s rescuer) and went in search.
When we got to the fence, Gerald was gone. All looked lost and hopeless. Until in the distance we saw him flying towards the forest school. For a little butterfly, this would be a sanctuary. He could hide away in the shed or amongst the trees quite safely until spring-time.
Hopefully we’ll meet again in better weather.
Thank you! Coco