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August 7th, 2005
a butterfly’s sense

I have monarch butterflies at my house. They all started as green and white caterpillars. You see, I have milkweed in my gardens and the monarch caterpillars love it.

I was walking in front of my house when I noticed a green cocoon hanging on one of my windows. I looked around and saw one of the caterpillars being picked off by a bird to feed on.

I found some old glass jars with lids, and poked small air holes in the top and began collecting milkweed and caterpillars to protect them from the birds. I explained to the caterpillars what I was doing and they graciously accepted my offer of protection.

Except one. I came across one particularly large caterpillar named Leonard. Leonard absolutely refused to get into the jar. I tried to explain to Leonard what I was doing.

“I don’t care about that,” he said. He explained that if I put him in that jar he would turn into a butterfly and that he was perfectly happy being a caterpillar.

That’s what caterpillars do. They turn into butterflies. What was he thinking? I asked him how he was going to avoid becoming a butterfly.

“I’m going to stay right here, and while everyone else is spinning their cocoon, I’m going to enjoy life being a caterpillar.” Don’t you want to be a butterfly I asked? He explained that being a butterfly would be wonderful, but it just wasn’t for him. Leonard seemed convinced that not only could he avoid fate, but his plan of avoiding life’s beautiful gift was somehow better for him.

Alright then, I was tired from arguing. I finished helping the other caterpillars. They settled into their jars, safe and sound from the birds and started preparing for their transformation.

I happened to look over where Leonard had been, wondering what had become of my nonsensical friend. He was working away spinning himself a cocoon. I walked up to him and asked what he was doing; after all he was so convinced he didn’t want to become a butterfly. He didn’t respond. He was totally absorbed in spinning his cocoon.

A little while later, I saw Leonard’s cocoon in a completed state. It quivered. Then it cracked on one side. The new Leonard climbed out. Leonard was a beautiful butterfly with bright blue and purple wings. He stretched his giant beautiful wings out to dry. I thought to myself what might have been if he had really managed to avoid his destiny, his gift of transformation.

As I’m staring at his wings I feel pain in my leg. It’s a muscle cramp – a bad one. I sit straight up out of bed to grab my leg and try to stop the cramp. I look at the clock, it’s 9:30 on Sunday morning.

I don’t usually remember my dreams.

posted in: guest musings — @ 4:20 pm


  1. That, m’dear, is one dream I’d love to have. Beautiful. And it does speak of beautiful things to happen too, however stubbornly you might refuse them.

    Comment by Anne — Sunday.August.7.2005 @ 6:02 pm

  2. It was a lovely dream, guest. :) Beautiful things to happen—most assuredly.

    Comment by the insider — Sunday.August.7.2005 @ 6:34 pm

  3. Thanks Anne.

    The Insider tells me you’re very insightful btw. ;)

    Comment by the guest — Sunday.August.7.2005 @ 11:08 pm

  4. Well, insightful is my middle name…

    Comment by Anne — Monday.August.8.2005 @ 3:16 pm

  5. Ah, so true, so true… :)

    Comment by the insider — Monday.August.8.2005 @ 9:36 pm

  6. One thing I forgot to mention:
    In my dream, all of the butterflies were monarch butterflies. Leonard was different with deep blue and purple wings.

    Interestingly after looking online, I was able to find one butterfly that looked like what I saw in my dream:


    It’s a Karner butterfly which is an endagered species.

    Comment by the guest — Tuesday.August.9.2005 @ 4:12 am

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