The Butterfly that Stamped
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In The Butterfly That Stamped, one of Rudyard Kipling’s beloved Just-So Stories, we read the tale of a mighty king who makes a deal with a tiny butterfly. King Suleiman has a thousand wives. Although his culture dictates that the king must have more wives than anyone else in the land, he does have a favorite wife, the beautiful Balkis. Suleiman’s nine hundred ninety-nine other wives, however, are driving him crazy with their bickering. As the frazzled king wonders what to do, he spies two butterflies having an argument. The fascinated Suleiman hears the male butterfly threatening his mate, saying that if she will not stop her nagging, one stamp of his tiny foot will cause the entire palace garden to disappear. The king is amazed at the butterfly’s bold fib, so much so that he asks the butterflies to talk with him. After discussing the situation with both the male butterfly and his clever wife, Suleiman realizes that, with the help of a little magic, all three of them—the powerful ruler and the two fragile insects—could solve their problems. You won’t believe the plan that these very unlikely allies hatch.
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Rudyard Kipling (1855-1936) was born to English parents living in India during the British colonial occupation. Kipling's father was a sculptor and art professor at a college in Bombay, and his mother was a lively and intelligent woman. While India had already made a powerful impression on the young Kipling, he was soon sent to live and receive his education in England. Kipling was unable to attend university and instead chose to return to the land of his birth, serving as an assistant editor at a small Indian newspaper for several years. It was at this time that Kipling began to publish short stories in the paper, soon following his occasional pieces with several collections of his writing. Kipling traveled to the United States and wrote as a foreign correspondent for the Indian press, continuing to develop his reputation and craft. He settled in London for a time, although it was not until after his marriage and eventual move back to the United States that he began to write the works for which he is best known: The Jungle Book and Captains Courageous among them. As Kipling continued to travel and write, he gained a broad following among old and young. He was widely celebrated as an important author, receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 and continuing to be awarded many honors for his writing throughout the rest of his life. While Kipling's works have fallen in and out of favor for their perspectives, his writing serves as an important testament to a time of change, conflict, and broadening horizons.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
The Most Wise Sovereign Suleiman-bin-Daoud--Solomon the Son of David.
Balkis. It is the story of the Butterfly that Stamped.
Now attend all over again and listen!
Beautiful Queen Balkis, was nearly as wise as he was.
the news of the three worlds,--Above--Below--and Here.
to the animals. Now I am ...
Ratings for 'The Butterfly that Stamped' by Kipling, Rudyard