Saturday, 9 July 2022

Papillon (F2R)

Abigail lifted her arm, tentatively, gasping with awe at such a marvellous creature seemingly floating in front of her. She’d never seen such a spectacle before, being seven and only ever audibly hearing books and descriptions of such things.

She marvelled as the butterfly flapped its wings and, within an instant, landed onto the edge of her hand. She moved her face a little closer, her eyes wide, her smile growing, gasping at the colours and beauty of the insect in front of her.

Mable, leaning over slightly as to not scare the perched butterfly, noticed how amazed Abigail seemed when witnessing such a beautiful creature.

“Would you like to know more?” she asked Abigail. Abigail, of course, nodded her head.

“Well, butterflies are insects, they flap their wings around five times every second and, believe it or not, they taste their food with their front feet!”

Abigail looked up at Mable, expressing a scrunched up face at the thought of tasting food with her front feet. Mable continued.

“The butterfly belongs to the lepidoptera group of insects and, unfortunately, they only love for a few weeks to a month!”

Abigail’s smile faded ever so slightly at the thought, her learning, inquisitive mind reminding herself that life was but a time for all things. Within a few moments, her thoughts moved away, back to the beautiful colours as the butterfly continued its journey.

Mable straightened herself, her mildly aching back reminding her not to bend quite so much. She stepped away from Abigail, as a small amount of sadness entered her soul. 

Everyone seemed to worry about the bees, but not the butterflies. She knew that both carried pollen, with the butterfly travelling further distances, but still the media focussed on the bee. This sanctuary, if she’d call it such a name, was a reminder to the people that knew. The people that realised that the butterfly signalled the health of an eco-system. It was shame, a travesty, that they’d all died out ten years earlier. Measures were taken, but the damage was already done.

She watched as the group of children, all happy, some dancing, some expressing their wonderment to abandon, enjoyed their chance to thankfully witness the moment. As she watched, a butterfly fell from the air, in front of her. She looked around the room, realising that no-one had noticed.
Quickly, she scooped up the butterfly, casually walked across the room, gently unscrewing the butterfly’s abdomen. She opened the cabinet in front of her, moving a finger along the descriptions, until she found the correct small drawer. Opening the drawer, she selected a replacement battery, as she dropped the previous part into the recharge tray.

She screwed the battery into place, tapped together the rear legs and the butterfly flew away to re-join it’s pre-determined path and action. She reminded herself again, of the worth of such creatures upon the world. The balance, the energy, the sustainability of life as humanity had known it.

She’d give anything, some dreams, many hopes, all of her love, to one day see a real life butterfly, the Papillon, within natures circle once more.

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