As an experienced mother, Mrs. Ladybug was all too familiar with the trials of a rainy day. Between trying to keep as good a home as she could make for her family on Spiker and Sponge’s property and being mother to a horde of young ones, bad weather made for an easier busier day. It was hard enough trying to keep 300 children entertained on that horrible hill when the sun was shining, but when it rained, all 300 of her offspring had to be confined to their rather small niche under the peach tree.
Oh, it had been a challenge, but Mrs. Ladybug would be lying to herself if she didn’t admit she still treasured the memories of trying to think up games and activities to distract her young ones from the pouring rain.
Even now, Mr. Ladybug still had to suppress a chuckle when she heard mothers exchanging stories of trying to keep their rowdy toddlers in line when they couldn’t play outside. At most, those ladies only had to deal with two or three children. At the moment, Mrs. Ladybug only had to contend with one.
Standing in the brightly lit kitchen, Mrs. Ladybug’s four arms were busy measuring out muffin mix into the baking tray. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched James, who was seated on one of the couches and starting out the window. Outside, the rain lashed against the window panes and the sky was dark as night, but the house, like the kitchen, was warm and bright. James remained completely motionless, his brown eyes fixed on the drops of water gathered on the glass. Every so often, he’d tilt his head slightly or his small brow would furrow, as though he were looking for something.
*Now, what could he be doing?*
Slipping the first tray of muffins into the oven, Mrs. Ladybug busied herself with mixing up a second batch, though by now, she was paying less attention to her baking and more attention to her little boy. Still, he continued to watch the rain.
Was he bothered by the bad weather? Due to the absence of thunder and lightning, during which James always seemed a little more nervous (no doubt because of bad memories), Mrs. Ladybug didn’t think that was the case. Rather, James was completely content with whatever it was he was doing.
Once both batches of muffins were done and laid out on the stove to cool, Mrs. Ladybug’s curiosity finally won out. Stepping out of the kitchen, she walked over to the couch, placing a gentle hand on James’s shoulder. The boy shook as head as if jerked out of a daze and then smiled up at Mrs. Ladybug.
“Alright, dearie?” she asked, slipping her other three arms around him. James nodded.
“I’m fine,” he answered as Mrs. Ladybug sat down beside him.
“You’re awfully quiet today. What have you been up to?”
“Seeing what kind of shapes the rain makes,” James answered.
“Yes. Like that one.” James pointed at the window. “It looks like a mountain.”
“Why, it does,” Mrs. Ladybug agreed. So, this was how James was entertaining himself.
'What a clever, imaginative little boy I have,' she mused running affectionate fingers through James’s hair. 'How lucky I am.'
“Hmmm, well I think I see a star up there in the corner.”
“I see it too. And there’s a flower.”
It seemed as though rainy days were going to easier a little easier, but just as wonderful.