Her shell shone like a pearl.
Her soft body was squishy and slimy, but not TOO slimy.
Her tail came to a very nice point, but it wasn’t TOO pointy.
And she had two eyes on stalks that could stretch up, up, up or shrink down, down, down. Her eyes were rather her best feature.
She rushed as quickly as she could (which wasn’t terribly quick—Patient was a snail, after all) into the store and bought those sunglasses.
As she slithered down the sidewalk, all of her friends stopped to talk to her.
“You look so elegant today, Patient,” said a beetle.
Patient didn’t know what “elegant” meant, but she smiled politely and oozed on.
“Look at how fashionable you are!” said a praying mantis.
Patient didn’t know what “fashionable” meant, but she again smiled politely and oozed on.
“How gorgeous!” said a moth.
“You’re dazzling!” cried a potato bug.
“Bewitching!” muttered an old grasshopper.
“You look so attractive,” chattered a field mouse.
“Those sunglasses are smashing!” cried a ladybug.
“Patient, today you are positively pulchritudinous” called a worm from under the shade of the flowers.
Patient didn’t know what any of those words meant, and when she at last met Bashful Butterfly, she was rather upset. “Bashful, today people have said that I am elegant, fashionable, gorgeous, dazzling, bewitching, attractive, smashing, and pulchritudinous. Whatever do they mean?”
“Oh, Patient,” smiled Bashful. “Everyone was just noticing how nice you look in your new sunglasses. Elegant, fashionable, gorgeous, dazzling, bewitching, attractive, smashing, and pulchritudinous are all words that mean beautiful. And you really do look very pretty today.”
“Why, thank you,” said Patient, and she stretched her head up on her long, soft neck, and wiggled her eyestalks delightedly behind the bright pink cat-eye sunglasses with jewels sparkling in the rims.
story by Aislin Dyer