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.

 

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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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