by Yusra Hannan, 11 years old

It is late spring and I’m extremely happy. Ambitious families attempting picnics, cheeky toddlers running away, siblings playing tag. It’s always a happy place at Nene Park, especially this time of year. There are many reasons why I love spring, firstly; it’s my happy time. Secondly, my favourite breakfast is in stock: daffodil nectar – yummy! Thirdly, my favourite spot in the park (a tree) is in full bloom, and so I have a clear view over the entire park.

I love to human-watch; I can see the boys playing their vicious football, the odd couple admiring the sunset on the worn-out bench, and families just going for a peaceful stroll in the tranquil meadows.

The first spring I experienced was also the first time I learnt what I looked like. It was a lovely day, I was up at the lakeside view of my home, some families were out canoeing, others were splashing around at the edge, and I was enjoying the breeze.

I happened to be skimming the waters and allowing little girls to catch me (avoiding death by squash though). I was wondering what was beneath the peacock-blue piece of land, when I looked down, what I saw surprised me. Two yellow wings, but not like the ones birds have: mine were pointed at the top with a small black body joining them. I saw two thinner strands coming out at the top of me – they are my antennae. I love them!

That was the first time I had a glimpse of myself. Now I always glide over the lake to see my reflection – my very own mirror. I go there when the sun is setting, the humans by then have packed away and aren’t canoeing or wading in the water, so I have the whole lake to myself.

Now that you know what I think and look like, I will tell you a story of when I almost lost my life. I was sunbathing on a leaf, when a group of children came and admired my colour, one boy suggested they put me in a jar. I wasn’t paying much attention, but at those words I stopped daydreaming. I started to take off, but I was too slow, the glass jar was on top of me, it was quickly lifted, and a lid was screwed on tight. I survived without nectar, without air, without freedom for what seemed like days. 

Suddenly, I was now in a car, when slowly the window went down, and the golden lid was taken off. A small hand directed me towards the window – towards freedom. Relief flooded through my wings: I wasn’t too far from my home, Nene Park, and I fluttered as fast as I could towards it. 

I now live to tell the tale, visit me and see the Park through my eyes