A boy and his butterfly..
I remember asking my grandfather to catch some butterflies for me, so that I can make them a pet and store them in a glass jar… I remember him telling me to leave holes in the lid so that they can breathe.
I remember running around in my neighbors’ yard, when I was not learning to make paper boats, from him.. I finally did capture one in a jar, but it didn’t survive. I don’t remember having the courage to catch one again.
I imagined myself walking in a forest, as creatures peek from the dense undergrowth. Then suddenly a butterfly fluttering down on my shoulder and then on my outstretched palm. In the palm of my hand, it looks like the prettiest thing on earth!
Then in a few days, I noticed a pair of gooey green caterpillars resting under a leaf. The night would knock them off their slumber and make them ferociously feed. In the day they would snugly sleep under the half-eaten tattered leaves. I watched them grow night and day until they grew as fat as my fingers!
I remember taking them in a box to school in my science class, Girls shrieking and boys feeling their velvety sides, The caterpillars seemed to like it, I thought then!
As I touched them, two red horns would emerge from behind their heads.. The boys would entertain themselves thus playing with their new friends! Then our biology teacher explained that these horns are meant to scare their predators.. They are not the tails that dogs wag when they're gay! She told me to put them back on the plant as the caterpillars seemed ready to cocoon!
I hurried back home and let the little fellows on the plant again…. But I kept one for myself on my desk, with a small branch of the plant for it to feed… hoping that I get to meet the butterfly that emerges… hoping that it will rest on my palm just like the one in my dreams!
And cocoon it did, but the wait for the butterfly was too long, I hurried back home every day to find the fellow asleep in his self-made bed! On one such day when I was at school the butterfly emerged, My father later told me how it fluttered about my room for a while until he let it free!
I cried then a little for life being so unfair… I still wish someday I can meet that butterfly… The one that will rest on my shoulder and then flutter down on my palm!
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