Dreaming Butterflies – Visitors in our garden

L is trying to breed butterflies in our garden. So he has forbidden me to kill caterpillars.  We have several lime plants in our potted garden, for the purpose of attracting butterflies to lay their eggs.

I do not need to do the job. Our pair of resident mynahs have pleasantly removed the caterpillars.

The Caterpillar/Butterfly metamorphosis remains an excellent teaching tool for children about the cycle of life. Recently in one of my HR classes, we even use this to teach about the life-cycle that employees go through in organisational life.  When finally they are able to soar and have freedom to be creative in contributing to the organisation.

Another butterfly struggle story goes like this.  A young boy sees a caterpillar creating a cocoon, and was thrilled, watching it daily, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.  Soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling hard to get out! It looked desperate as if it was making no progress! Rushing to the rescue, he snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger allowing the butterfly to emerge!  Alas, as the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. Nothing of this sort. The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings, never able to fly…

Apparently, the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. Pushing its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon helps pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings.

My friend Joy, once told us a story of an experiment she did in Manilla, as a zoology major. She tied the back of a caterpillar with a string, with a view to see how it would affect the metamorphosis process. Joy drew the pictures below. (She’s a natural storyteller and a good artist!).  Strangely, the back end of the caterpillar did not go through with the metamorphosis.  But a terrible and ghastly thing happened.

Because the butterfly (like a Taurus – half ox and half man) could not fly, ants started attacking the back-side of the misformed butterfly/ caterpillar eventually chewing and biting it up.

Picture 3: Cocoon forming on top half of the caterpillar's body, leaving bottom bit

Picture 4: Half butterfly half caterpillar

She went on to illustrate that if we allow our failings to handicap our transformation, not only do we not metamorph into our God-given potential, the cares of this world, can weigh us down and eventually eat us up. Pay due care then, to the things which derail us, and trip us up.

Picture 1: Caterpillar drawn by Joy

Picture 2: Caterpillar with string tied to the lower part of body

2 thoughts on “Dreaming Butterflies – Visitors in our garden

  1. What a scary story.

    It is not know where the name butterfly comes from. Some people think it should be more aptly know as flutterby.

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