A little girl finds a small black worm and saves it from a blue jay who wants to eat it for lunch. She takes the little worm inside and her grandfather tells her it's a larva and would soon become a butterfly. Working together, Grandfather and granddaughter create a habitat for the larva. They build a box with a wire mesh window so they can see in and the butterfly can see out! They even paint flowers for the butterfly to see inside the box. The larva builds a chrysalis and hangs free in her box. "Inside that magic place, she grew." The butterfly emerges and she is a painted lady. As the granddaughter grows old, she watches the painted lady butterflies come back to her garden year after year. She imagines that they remember the story of how once upon a time, this very girl saved a painted lady butterfly. Now the great-great grandchildren butterflies return to make the girl's, now an old woman, garden even more beautiful.