Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Butterfly Story...A Lesson in Compassion

"Oh wow!"

"It's so cool!"

"Careful, don't step on it!"

"Oh no, it's not really flying...what's wrong with it?"

"Come here, little buddy."

Commentary from my 7-year old son, Sam, his buddy, and 5-year old sister, Kate as we were leaving the pool today.

They stumbled upon a gorgeous yellow and black zebra striped butterfly on the sidewalk.  Wounded, the butterfly looked like it was on its last leg.

They tried.  Picking it up and gently placing it in a bag, they asked if we could take it home and nurse it back to health with orange slices.  To which I replied...maybe we should leave it in the wild.

Leaving the parking lot, the three kids began collectively praying aloud.  "Please God, keep the butterfly safe.  Don't let any cars run him over and let him stay on earth...a little longer.  I don't think its his time to go to Heaven just yet."

Shit.  Making an illegal U-turn, I flip back around and grab the butterfly, incognito-like.

Exhausted from swimming and sweating about having a dying delicate creature on my hands, I pull us through the Starbucks drive through.  Surely, some apple juice will perk this little guy up.

Unfortunately, I think my little friends half drowned him in his bag with apple juice...trying to get him to chug and "rehydrate."

Sam suggested that we donate him to the butterfly exhibit at the zoo to which his buddy replied, "Are you crazy?  They just throw fruit at those butterflies...they don't really care about them.  It's okay, little guy, we'll save you."

And then, they started debating how long a bug lives to which Kate replied, "Maybe his year is up and he's going to die."

The car erupted when our winged friend apparently croaked.  Sam tried to get him closer to the air conditioning.  His buddy tried to repair his wing.  And Kate prayed.

In the end, we laid him to rest by the tree.  A peaceful, dignified, loving death.

The beauty of children.  They just get it.


  1. What a sweet story! We were at the zoo the other day. The butterfly exhibit had more butterflies than I've ever seen. Sadly we read about how some are born without mouths (on purpose). They live only a couple days, just enough time to find a mate & breed. :-(


  2. Oh Ali! That's horrible! I agree...children are so sweet especially when it comes to caring for creatures. xoxoxo


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