It’s a brilliantly sunny day when Victor takes Ferdinand out for his first ride. He hopes that it’s a good omen. He’s been dreaming about this day for months, as he experimented and tweaked –
Ferdinand runs his proboscis over his face, making Victor laugh. He checks his riding gear again – it was difficult making a saddle for a butterfly, but with hard work (and help from Hiccup Haddock), he managed it. Then he mounts, carefully avoiding the wings. “Up, Ferdinand,” he says, voice trembling.
Ferdinand flaps his wings, takes off – and just like that, the blue sky is his.
When the rush of being airborne wears off, the thought occurs to Victor, Where to? He supposed he should put Ferdinand through his paces, ensuring that the giant butterfly could fly properly.
“Okay, there, Ferdinand…” Victor says to his mount, looking around at the open air. “We’re going to take this nice and slow.” He squeezed Ferdinand’s abdomen lightly with his legs as he would do to a horse and hung on tightly as the enormous wings flapped hard and they surged forward.
Victor looked down at Secundus passing below them, feeling exhilaration fill his very being. This was glorious!
“Okay, let’s go left!” Victor called to Ferdinand, cueing him with his legs.
Ferdinand banked left and made a wide circle in the air. Victor let his leg loose so he would straighten out, then leaned forward, squeezing, cueing him to go into a dive.
The ground rushed up at the pair, but strangely Victor was not afraid. “Come on, Ferdinand!” he urged. “Come on, Ferdinand!” He pulled him up at just the right moment so they skimmed the tops of the buildings.
“Ha-hah!” Victor whooped. He pulled on the saddle, cueing Ferdinand. “Up, Ferdy! Up!”
The butterfly tilted upward and began to ascend. Higher and higher towards the clouds, pumping his mighty wings harder and harder.
“Yeah!” shouted Victor, all adrenaline. “Go, Ferdy! Yes! Oh, this is amazing! The wind in my…”
He trailed off when he realized his seat in the saddle was becoming looser the higher they went. His heart leapt up into his throat with fear that he and Ferdinand would plummet to earth and he cued the butterfly perhaps a little too roughly as his mount suddenly went into a very hard and very steep dive.
The first time it had happened Victor hadn’t been afraid. Now, however, fear gripped his heart and tightened its hold on his chest as the ground rushed up at him.
“Oh!” he cried, pulling on the saddle. “Oh, dear! Oh, no! Ferdinand, pull up!”
Whether it was to his cry or his cue, Ferdinand did brake hard, wings flaring. Victor could almost see the line of wind at the tips. The butterfly made a little squealing noise as he responded to Victor’s cues, weaving around tall buildings until finally Victor saw they were headed towards the forest.
Now finally travelling levelly, Victor allowed the rush of adrenaline to come back and threw his hands up in the air. “Yes!”
Ferdinand made a happy clicking noise, just as exhilarated as his Creator.
“All right, Ferdy,” Victor said. “Now let’s try landing.” He peered down at the land below them and recognized their surroundings immediately. “We’re over Lisa’s place! Well, we’re here. We might as well pay her a visit. Let’s try to set down in the clearing in front of her house.” He cued Ferdinand, who went into a gentle dive and alighted easily on the lawn.
The three horses and one unicorn that were grazing in front of the barn lifted their heads to see who had come to visit. They flicked their ears in Victor and Ferdinand’s direction and then brought them full forward, interested in the giant butterfly.
The golden unicorn Victor knew as Golden Mun gave a loud whinny and from the front door of the hospital came running a young woman with long brown hair and glasses.
“Hello, Lisa!” called Victor, waving.
“Hi, Victor,” she said, jogging towards them. “Great Orion…Victor, he’s wonderful!”
Victor felt himself blushing as Ferdinand clicked happily. “Do you really think so?”
“Yes!” She put her hand out towards the butterfly’s head. “May I?”
Ferdinand chattered his acquiescence while Victor nodded. “Of course.”
Lisa gently ran her hand over Ferdinand’s head and he used his antennae to return the touches. She giggled. “Ferdinand, that tickles.”
Victor blinked. “How did – oh, that’s right. You read my mind and found out his name.”
She smiled. “Actually, no. He told me.”
He frowned. “He ‘told’ you? You mean you can speak the language of insects as well?”
She nodded. “Yep, although listening to him he kind of sounds, uh…” She leaned close to Victor and whispered in his ear. “Kind of like a dog.”
To her surprise, he laughed. “Yes, that’s because I used some canine DNA when Creating him. I figured in order for a riding butterfly to be of any use, they’d need some mammalian DNA.”
“Well, that explains it.” She walked around Ferdinand, taking him in. “Really, Victor, he’s amazing.” She stopped near one of his wings and frowned.
“What is it?” Victor asked, a little worried.
“I thought I saw…Ferdinand, would you mind if I took a look at your wing?”
“Victor, do you mind? I know he’s your Creation, but…”
“No, no! Go right ahead.”
Lisa’s wings shimmered into view and she fluttered up and peered at the join where Ferdinand’s wing met his body. He clicked a few times, then made a soft squeal.
“Ferdinand! What’s wrong?!”
Lisa’s head popped up behind the butterfly’s body. “Calm down, Victor. It’s just a strain in the wings. What were you two doing?”
“Oh…oh! Oh, dear…” said Victor. “Perhaps we came out of that dive a little too roughly.”
She landed easily in front of him and gave him a reassuring smile. “He’ll be fine, Victor. Just give him a bit to rest and he’ll be as good as new. You can stay for tea and Ferdy can hang out with Goldy and the horses if he likes.”
Victor smiled, relieved. “Yes, I believe we’ll take you up on that. Right Ferdy?”
The butterfly bounced happily, extending his proboscis and “licking” both Victor and Lisa.
For a first flight, Victor would classify this one as a success.
Back *~*~* Trivia and In-Jokes