Marigold's Wings

The truth behind the children's story...

While the Author was in the midst of writing the Book, his publisher, Key Porter Books, asked if he would write an afterword for a forthcoming illustrated book for children called "Marigold's Wings," written and illustrated by Vlasta van Kampen. Below is that afterword, with one of the lovely illustrations from her book.

The Rest of Marigold's Story…

Marigold's dream of winging her way down to Mexico is very close to what actually happens. The tale of her encounters with all of the different kinds of animals and other insects that she meets along the way, both good and bad, really do occur! But there's even more to her story than she dreamed about…

Monarch butterflies make the most amazing and wonderful journey of any insect. Many of them fly all the way from Canada to Mexico, a distance of almost 3000 miles (4800 km). And that is a very long distance for a butterfly to fly. To make a similar journey you would have to walk all the way around the world at least once.

Even more amazing is that there can be as many as 5 generations of butterflies between these long trips. Imagine having to travel to someplace that your great great grandparents had been but that you can't ask anyone, not even your own mom and dad, for directions! How do they know where to go? No one knows.

But the journey is far more dangerous even than Marigold's dream. Along the way, Monarch butterflies must deal with rain and wind and stormy weather of all kinds and fly across lakes, rivers, mountains, and other natural barriers. And everywhere they go there are people.

Where there are people there are even more dangers, like the problems of pollution, pesticides and highways. Sadly, cars and trucks probably kill more Monarch butterflies than weather, barriers and all of the animals and insects that Marigold meets on her journey.

The wonder is not that Marigold would dream of flying to Mexico but that she actually makes it all the way there and lives to have caterpillars of her own.

Now, what do you suppose they dream about?