The village of Treetops was abuzz with excitement as the residents prepared for the arrival of their guests. Everyone seemed to be making an effort; J.T., proprietor of Justin Thyme Watch & Clock Repairs had blended a special batch of milkweed milkshake, which he served on a tray of freshly plucked buttercups. Madam Orly had been perfecting an aria from Madama Butterfly for the afternoon gala, and even Dr. Faith Constanza had taken the day off work to stitch her signature velvet bunting; this was after all the annual visit from the royal family of Monarchs.

Tiny had worked throughout the spring, planting red clover and goldenrod along the hedgerows, and the milkweed pods were lined with soft silky eiderdowns, ready for the new mothers to lay their eggs. As the midday sun blazed overhead, the residents held their breaths. The air was still and buzzed with electricity, the entire village was waiting. And then, they came. First a single speck far on the horizon, then Rocio de la Rosa leading the charge, and finally a great cloud of glorious butterflies and a thousand orange splashes against a clear periwinkle sky.

Tiny gazed, spell-bound. And Madam Orly began to sing, her sweet songbird voice gliding higher and higher up to the heavens, now filled with the joyous dance of the Insecta royal family.  It was time for the celebrations to begin.

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