The Most Curious Moth

Oscar is more curious than the other moth boys, he wants to live like the butterflies do.

The Most Curious Moth 

by Jules de Jongh

Season 3 Episode 4

[opening theme music and strapline]

Nanny Bea: Greetings, I’m so glad you could join us. The kettle’a nearly boiled so my tea, along with and my neighbour Jules will be ready for a story any…

[knock sfx]

Nanny Bea:  minute now.

Nanny Bea:  Was that the kettle or my door? I’ll try the door. Hello? Is anyone there?

JulesHello Nanny Bea, it’s your neighbour Jules with a story.

Nanny Bea: It is the door! And the lovely Jules, come in dear.

Jules:  Thank you Nanny Bea, I’ve got a story today about a boy who thinks life will be better on the flip side. Are you ready for a story?

Nanny Bea:  Oh, yes please.

Jules:  Okay then, The Most Curious Moth , adapted for radio

 Oscar is a curious moth, more curious than the other moth boys.

Each morning his mummy and daddy kiss his antennae, tickle his wings and say, “Good morning little mite, close your eyes now and sleep tight.”

And each morning Oscar pretends to go to sleep.  He closes his eyes and lies very still but before you can bat a wing, he isn’t pretending anymore.  He is fast asleep.

Just like Oscar’s mummy and daddy and his brothers and sisters 

and every other moth in every other moth family

because that is what moths do.

They fall asleep in the morning.

They sleep all through the day 

then they wake up and stay up all night long.

Oscar does not want to do like the other moths do. Instead he dreams of flying from flower to flower, bathing in the sun and soaring through a sky filled with puffy white clouds.  He wants to live like the butterflies do. He wants to stay awake all day.

But staying awake at bedtime isn’t that easy.  Each time Oscar pretends to fall asleep, he really does.  As he is so good at falling asleep he decides to do more of that.  He takes naps and goes to bed early until finally, one morning his mummy and daddy kiss his antennae, tickle his wings and say, “Good morning little mite, close your eyes now and sleep tight.”

And Oscar pretends to go to sleep.  He closes his eyes and lies very still but…

he doesn’t fall asleep.

Oscar’s mummy and daddy fall asleep 

his brothers and sisters fall asleep 

and every other moth falls asleep 

but Oscar is wide awake and sneaks out of the house.

Once his eyes get used to the bright sunlight, he spies a buddleia bush coated in butterflies,

blue ones, yellow ones, orange painted spotty ones,

Oscar sees every kind of butterfly he ever imagined.

None of the butterflies see him though

or maybe they just don’t notice him because they’re so busy.

So busy, except for one, Bertie.  

Bertie is a curious butterfly, more curious than the other butterfly boys.

He zooms up to Oscar.

Bertie shows Oscar how to live like the butterflies do.

Oscar  and Bertie fly from flower to flower.  Each one looks different, smells different and tastes different.

Oscar soon gets tired of different.  He’d rather be dancing round his favourite porch light with every moth he knows.

Oscar and Bertie take a break from flying.  They settle down on a fence post and bathe in the heat of the sun. 

Bertie is happy.  Oscar is hot.  He wishes he were swaying on a cool leaf in the gentle glow of the moon.

Finally Bertie spreads his warmed wings and sets off.  Oscar quickly follows. 

They soar into the sky filled with puffy white clouds.

White clouds everywhere, plain white clouds in a plain blue sky. Oscar sighs, he misses all the colours bouncing off the twinkling stars like glitter in the black night sky.

Oscar is very tired now.  It’s way past his bedtime.  He thanks Bertie for showing him how to live like the butterflies do and says good-bye to the most curious butterfly boy.

Then Oscar flies home and sneaks back in bed.  He closes his eyes, lies very still and falls fast asleep but today he dreams of dancing round a porch light, the gentle glowing moon and a glittery starlight sky.  He wants to live like the moths do.  He wants to sleep all day.

The End

Nanny Bea: Why thank you Jules. Oscar is a long time acquaintance of mine. We met at a lampost after an amazing production of Cats.

Jules: Really where was that on the West End?

Nanny Bea: No it was an alley way production, not, not far from here. My those cats could sing. Sometimes I think I hear them in the night, ‘Memories, all alone in the moonlight…’

Jules: So you mean actual cats were in that production.

Nanny Bea: Cats and a few dogs, they are an equal opportunity employer, well after that whole kitty versus puppy landmark case but I digress. 

Jules: In the most interesting way.

Nanny Bea: It was actually Oscar who took that case on. That little moth is one amazing litigator. Must be his butterfly experience as he is very good at seeing both sides of an argument.

Jules: Oscar was practising law?

Nanny Bea: No dear, he was so good he didn’t need to practise. Will you be joining us next week.

Jules: Yes I will. 

Thomas:  Go to

Jules:  Go there to find out about all our stories. Then like us, recommend us but most importantly join us next week for more Tales and Tea.

[Be on the Show jingle]

Mr Announcer: This has been a Toad in the Hole production for