Isabella was now eight years old and very helpful around the home.
She would buckle her little brother Isaac into his car seat when they were going out.
She would read Isaac his bed time stories when her mother was busy.
Isaac loved it when his big sister Bella looked after him – he felt so special.
One afternoon, Isabella asked her mother if she could do some face painting.
It was a lovely sunny day.
Isaac's eyes lit up, and with a huge grin he turned to Isabella:
"Bella, can you paint my face?"
Isabella looked at her mother, who was trying to think about whether this was a good time for face paints.
Isaac was very tired.
He hadn't had his day sleep.
He hadn't had his day sleep.
To Isabella's surprise, her mother gave her a slow nod and said, "Try not to make a mess, darling".
Isabella turned in excitement to Isaac, who was waiting expectantly for an answer:
"Sure Isaac! What would you like to be today?"
"A bumble bee!" he replied, jumping on the spot.
Then he ran around in a circle.
Isabella hadn't painted a bumble bee face before.
She hesitated for a moment.
"Okay," she said slowly. "I can try."
She thought it might be fun to try something new.
Isaac followed Isabella outside and sat on a chair while she began painting his face in lines and colours.
She thought he would look just like a bee if he had lots of stripes on his cheeks and forehead, and yellow in between.
But after a while, she started to worry – he wasn’t looking very much like a bee.
Now that she thought about it, his face was too dark and there wasn't enough yellow.
Isabella started to feel frustrated.
She couldn’t help a frown coming on.
"Go and look in Mummy's mirror," she said to Isaac quickly.
"See if you like it.”
Isaac ran inside, and Isabella slowly followed behind him.
"Do you think you look much like a bumble bee?" Isabella asked, looking at Isaac in the mirror.
"No!" said Isaac, in a load silly voice.
And he pulled a big silly face at Isabella in the mirror.
Isabella looked at Isaac crossly, but he ran off to show his silly face to Mummy.
She stayed behind and looked into the mirror.
Isabella was hungry and tired, and she now felt sad she hadn’t been able to paint Isaac’s face just right.
Maybe, she thought, she could use her mother’s mirror to paint her own face as a pretty butterfly?
The idea made Isabella feel better.
She went out to get her paints and set straight to work.
But after a minute Isabella wasn’t exactly happy with how she looked.
It wasn’t easy to use the mirror to do her own face as a butterfly.
Isabella now felt more and more upset.
She got some tissues and tried to clean the paint off her face.
But the paint didn’t come off easily.
She had to rub and rub it, which made her skin sore.
Isabella burst into tears.
She ran downstairs to her bedroom.
She threw herself onto her bed and cried into her pillow.
Her mother was concentrating in the kitchen, helping Isaac cook banana bread.
Isabella lay by herself in her room, crying on her pillow.
But then something very strange happened.
As her tears ran down her face, they mixed with the paint that she hadn't been able to clean off.
The paint started to swirl around her face in pretty patterns – Isabella felt a strange tingling.
Soon, Isabella started to feel tired.
She stopped crying, and the paint on her face began to dry.
She lay there wondering what the strange feeling on her face had been.
Slowly, Isabella fell into a light sleep.
She woke up moments later it seemed to the afternoon breeze, coming in from the open window.
The sun was shining brightly, and Isabella got up to look over the garden.
Suddenly, she felt like jumping into the air – like she could fly straight out the window!
Surprised by a rush of energy, she turned around to check herself in her bedroom mirror.
To her shock, her face was shining with beautiful swirls, and on her back was a pair of enormous colourful wings!
Somehow, she had awoken as a butterfly girl!
Isabella was overcome with excitement; she almost didn’t believe it.
Without another thought, she jumped out the window and flew around the garden.
Isabella fluttered around and around in the warm breeze and circled up and down in the rays of yellow sunshine.
Then she looked down towards the veggie patch, where the sunflowers were in full bloom.
She thought about flying down to meet them; but at that very moment a bell rang out from upstairs in the house.
Like trying to wake from a dream, Isabella had to think hard to remember what this sound meant.
Isabella's mother would ring the bell when she wanted the children to come upstairs.
She needed to fly back to her bedroom, before her mother came downstairs to look for her.
Quickly, Isabella drifted back in through her bedroom window, and landed on the carpet.
She now wondered what her mother would think when she saw her face!
Would her mother be cross, when she saw what had happened?
Would she scream, when she saw Isabella’s big wings?
Isabella tried to think about what to say, but then the bell rang a second time.
Bravely, Isabella opened the door to her bedroom, and walked out.
Coming up the stairs, Isabella walked into the kitchen to face her mother.
"Hello darling!" said her mother, looking straight at her with a warm smile;
"What have you been up to? I've made you some afternoon tea".
Isabella stared back at her mother for a brief moment, in surprise.
“She can't tell”, Isabella thought to herself; "She mustn't be able to see what I have become!"
A small grin came over Isabella's face.
"Thank you so much Mummy!" she said, “I am so hungry!”
And she jumped up to the table for her afternoon tea, trying to look 'normal'.
The thought that her butterfly wings and face were invisible to her mother delighted Isabella.
Isaac was sitting on the lounge room couch, watching Octonauts.
"You didn't tell me what you’d been up to,” said her mother as Isabella chomped into a slice of orange.
"I was trying to wipe my face clean," said Isabella, trying to keep a straight face.
"Well you've done a really good job, my darling," answered her mother.
And turning to look out the window, she heard herself reply:
"I can't wait to drift down to the backyard!"