Home

Paper sculpture of white butterfly in cage

Long, long ago an island marble butterfly lived in a cage within a snug cottage. Although the diaphanous winged insect loved the elderly man who kept it, the butterfly dreamed of being free. Day after day the same things occurred. At eventide, the caretaker talked to the butterfly about what he thought about and did throughout the day and what they would do on the next. Each night before bed the chipper lepidopterist opened the cottage window, and then placed his pipe, eye glasses, ear-trumpet, and pocket watch, on the table beside the cage.

Early one morning before the keeper woke, the butterfly studied the contents of the table and had an idea. If the timepiece leaning against the bars rolled to the other objects, a chain reaction might unlatch the enclosure door. The simple machine worked and the door swung open. The rising sun illuminated its outstretched wings like a ship in full sail. The unfettered butterfly alighted on the window sill to wonder at the landscape and shape its course for the future. With one last backward glance at its watcher sleeping in his bed, the ivory butterfly knew the old collector would be sad when he discovered his friend had gone. After a pause the butterfly fluttered back to its cage and closed the door.

Home   Back   Next