As the warm, toasty, vernal early morning rays lulled her already drooping eyes, a sudden flash of light in the backyard shook her senses awake.
She rubbed the heels of her palms vigorously on both her sleepy eyes to ensure she wasn’t dreaming or hallucinating. Stepping out through the back door onto the porch, she surveyed the new addition to their tiny enclosed backyard, lined with wild bushes at its periphery.
She knew butterflies well, had even caught a few in her lifetime but one of this stature was first time for her.
Now, this 6-year-old remembered all the rules that her mother had drilled into her so she refrained from immediately approaching or touching the strange thing.
Instead, she shouted, “Hey, Mr. Butterfly!! Who are you? Why are you here? How did you get here? What do you want? Why are you so big? By any chance, do you eat small girls in pigtails?”
The girl was confident that answers to all of these meant they wouldn’t be strangers anymore. May be, she could even hitch a ride.
The butterfly cocked its head to one side and answered, “I’m indeed Mr. Butterfly! Nice to meet you. I’m not sure how I came here. I was basking under a tree and perhaps nodded off. Next thing, I’m here. And big? I’m the tiniest of my lot. And what’s a girl? But since you asked, we eat flowers only. Thank you for showing concern.”
The ever-curious girl convinced it to give her a ride across the town. As they prepared to take off, a soft, melancholic purr caught the girl’s attention. Investigation revealed a kitten stuck on top of a tall tree.
With the help of Mr. Butterfly, the girl rescued the trembling kitten, who took one look at the gigantic insect and ran helter-skelter.
“Tsk! Tsk! Not even a ‘thank you’!? You don’t teach your cats manners here?”
The girl ignored the caustic comment since she didn’t have the heart to tell it that it was the reason for that young cat’s distress.
A few minutes after taking off into the sky, the girl noticed her elderly neighbour struggling with a big, heavy shopping bag. She immediately asked Mr. Butterfly to land inconspicuously behind a sycamore tree and rushed to help the lady.
“You are a good human, may be, that’s why I landed up near your window. I had wished to meet a kind hearted human while dozing off,” said Mr. Butterfly in awe.
“Oh, I had wished for an adventure!”
“Wow, mumma, you used to have wonderful adventures!”
“Yes, baby! Because I was a good girl, listened to my parents diligently and ate all my vegetables.”
“So, now that you don’t have these adventures, does that mean you are not a good…”
“Oh, I think l can smell something burning from kitchen! Oh no! I’ll be back in few minutes!”
That’s how I dodged the bullet of counter-interrogation of my “good” intentions by my 4-year-old.
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