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"I wonder where their homes will be."
"I wonder if they have sticky feet so they can stay on plants the way they stick on the top of their cage."
"I wonder if they are going to a better place than this classroom."
"Well, they are going to the place they are meant to be--outside," says Ms. Flaherty.
"Let's line up," says Ms. Haney.
And, off we go.
Once we're in the outdoor classroom, Ms. Flaherty unzips the butterflies' home. Suddenly one flies out and...
right onto Ms. Goodman's (our author-in-resident's) hand. While this Painted Lady is getting ready for its next move, the kids say their goodbyes in the form of wishes.
"I hope you live a happy life."
"I hope God makes you food."
"Thank you, butterfly," Ms. Haney adds, "for allowing us to help you grow. It was a privilege to have you in our classroom."
Then, it flies out into the world!
Finally the only ones left in the cage are the two born with injured wings. We decide to put them down gently on a flowering bush nearby.
"The injured ones are going to live a harder life," says Ms. Flaherty, "but we'll give them the best change we can."
"I like to think of them as survivors," said Ms. Haney.
Then all the first graders walked to the bush and watch their last two butterflies settle on a place, hopefully to live and thrive.