She longed to have a monarch butterfly of her very own, although her mother explained to her that such a pet would not live in captivity.
She asked her mother to please, please, please, help her plant some milkweed so that monarch caterpillars would come, eat, hibernate, and metamorphose. Her mother took her that very day to the local nursery where they selected one milkweed plant for the front garden.
Six months later, they caught daily glimpses of a monarch or two, making its fall home before heading south to Mexico. They also saw a couple butterflies that looked like monarchs ... but a little bit different.
They consulted their beloved Stokes Butterfly Book and found that they had both a Monarch and a Queen, the two members of the milkweed butterfly family.
Her mother also discovered, in the resources section of the Stokes book, a volume written by one Dave Winter and his wife. Many many years ago, the mother's father had taken the family to visit the home of Dave Winter, his colleague in pediatrics, who had an enormous collection of butterflies.
In fact, according to the Resources section, there is a Lepidopterists Society based in the mother's hometown.
Very little else of scientific renown is based in the mother's hometown.
The little girl and her mother will make a pilgrimage there at their earliest convenience.