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Parable of the Butterfly and the Rock

 I’ve had this story buzzing around in my head for a long, long time–a few years at least.
It’s a melancholy story with a deeper meaning.  Hope it makes sense.

The Parable of the Butterfly and the Rock
by K. R. Melton

There once was a butterfly–a beautiful black velvet butterfly with bright blue and buttery yellow patterns.  When it flitted from blossom to bloom, licking sweet nectar, the sun would shimmer on its wings and glisten on its body.  The butterfly resided in a beautiful grove full of creation’s wonders, and was happy and content.

One day, the butterfly saw a rock.  It had never really noticed a rock before.  But this rock was the epitome of rockiness.  It was tough.  It was strong.  It was substantial.  Nothing ever messed with the rock or “shooed” it away.  It was never chased by laughing children with nets.  It didn’t need nectar to thrive.  It didn’t care what the weather was.  It never changed.  It was as steady as…as itself.  A rock.

The butterfly landed near the rock and looked it over.  It was clunky and dusty and oh-so-rock-like.  The butterfly adored the toughness of the rock, and its many hard angles.  The butterfly looked up at the rock admiringly and idolized the rock and its good fortune at being a rock.  Then the butterfly decided to be a rock too, so it covered itself in dust and stood on the ground among the pebbles and dirt in absolute stillness.  But the Butterfly was still a butterfly.

All morning the sun beat down upon the butterfly, and although it wanted to fly away to some shady perch, it wanted to be a rock more.  So it remained in the sweltering sun.  But the Butterfly was still a butterfly.

A strong, cool breeze swept through, whisking the dust off the butterfly.  But it rejected the gift of the breeze.  The butterfly still wanted to be a rock, so it covered itself once again in dust and curled up so as to have a more rock-like shape.  But the butterfly was still a butterfly.

All afternoon the butterfly refused to move out of the hot sun.  Just as evening was coming on, a refreshing rain shower cooled the butterfly and once more rid its wings of dust.  Rather than being thankful for the reprieve, the butterfly became angry.  It cursed itself for being un-rock-like because the butterfly thought it should be a rock.

When the rain was past, the butterfly did not spread its wings and let them dry; it wept bitterly as it tore at its wings until they were gone.  Then, still sobbing, it covered itself in the damp mud and lay there next to its stony idol.

The next day, the butterfly was dead, wingless, and encased in a clump of dry mud that was hard as a rock.

It was no longer recognizable as a butterfly, but, though dead and wingless, the butterfly was still a butterfly.