Butterfly For Dinner

I was walking along a street with my brother and his girlfriend when I spotted a small butterfly making tiny leaps into the air not far off the footpath. It seemed to be in distress so I stopped to look more closely.

“It’s covered in ants! It’s being devoured by them!” I said to my brother and his girlfriend, who were standing several metres ahead of me. I crouched down and gently picked the butterfly up. They both looked a bit grossed out as I walked over and held my hand out to show them.

“We have to help it. You have to put it out of it’s misery!”, I begged my brother.

“It looks like it has been dead for a while. It’s body is hollow and decayed.”, he replied.

“But it was trying to fly!” The ants started to crawl up my arm so I shook them away.

“I think it was just the wind blowing it around.”, my brother’s girlfriend said.

I looked down sadly at the dead butterfly in my hand. “What should we do with it?”

“Let nature take care of it. There’s nothing you can do.”, they told me.

I placed it back where I found it. At least the ants wouldn’t go hungry. My brother’s girlfriend handed me a tissue and some hand sanitiser. I wiped away the little bits of orange and black dust imprinted onto my palm then smiled to cover my own hollowness and decay.



10 thoughts on “Butterfly For Dinner

  1. This reminds me of when a family was out of town one summer and asked me (then a teen) to come feed their lizard while they were gone. For several days, I let myself in their home and fed it and made sure it had water. Then one day, I arrived to see that ants had gotten to it and (as you say) simply attacked it, though it was so many thousands of times larger than they were. It was a horrible thing to have to tell the family that their pet was gone, and I felt so guilty, despite the fact that I had no control over it.

      • They are like tiny machines of evil. I tell you what, when they bite me, I can feel that itch for two weeks solid. I hope you didn’t get bit like that.

      • No, I didn’t get bitten that time but when I lived in a shabby share house with cracks in the walls I used to wake up to ants biting me! Nasty critters. But I love them still, because I love all insects for their beauty and structure.

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