The Boy, the Butterfly, and the Broken Wing

This is actually a photo of one of Mary's offspring named Ollie.  Ollie never left:  she stayed in our garden throughout her life...
This is actually a photo of one of Mary's offspring named Ollie. Ollie never left: she stayed in our garden throughout her life... | Source

Introduction

This is a true story, a story to which I find myself returning, time and again. Through this experience, I watched my young son develop a tender, nurturing side that, being a particularly boyish-boy, he had never really shown before. Finding this fragile, beautiful creature set us both, my son and I, on a journey through which we learned timeless lessons about life. Of course we learned about Swallowtail butterflies and their life cycles, but more importantly, we learned about the cycles of life and death, seasons and renewing, and even the cyclical waxing and waning of happiness and pain that goes along with loving something...or someone. Also, we learned how to say goodbye, a difficult lesson at any age.

My son is a very beautiful person; he teaches me something new every day.


The Boy, the Butterfly, and the Broken Wing

One fine day, in early spring,

when flowers bloom and the birds all sing,

a little boy found,

lying sadly on the ground,

a beautiful,

yellow,

butterfly.

Page 2-3

The boy crept close, on hand and knee,

crouching down, now he could see

the pretty bug had one lame wing,

she couldn't fly: a sorry thing.

The boy

named her

Mary.

Page 4-5

The boy loved his little bug;

he kept her in a roomy jug.

He gave her dandelions to eat,

and sugar-water, sticky sweet.

He gave her a branch from the cherry tree,

and the boy

loved

Mary.

Page 6-7

One morning, when he had a chance,

to look at Mary's leafy branch,

the little boy saw something new.

One per leaf and greenish-blue,

were seven,

tiny,

butterfly eggs.

Page 8-9

Day after day, the two would wait,

boy and bug, for the big birth-date.

The eggs turned brown, from greenish hue,

'till, finally, the date was due.

Out came seven,

tiny,

caterpillars.

Page 10-11

Each little worm was brown and spotted.

To cherry leaves, each baby trotted.

They ate the leaves, they couldn't stop;

they ate until they almost popped.

They grew into big,

green,

caterpillars.

Page 12-13

While her children bloomed in health,

Mary became weak, herself.

Butterflies don't live long, you see,

the boy still loved his sweet Mary.

But one summer day,

she lay,

so still.

Page 14-15

The little boy vowed then and there,

to always keep and always care,

for Mary's little ones, each child,

until he saw them free and wild.

The boy

loved

the caterpillars.

Page 16-17

The leaves turned brownish in the fall,

as did the seven, one-and-all.

Then each youngster, male and miss,

transformed into a chrysalis!

The boy watched,

and waited,

while they slept.

Page 18-19

All through the winter,

all through the cold,

the boy watched over

his sevenfold.

The caterpillars

slept

and slept.

Page 20-21

One fine day, in the early spring,

when the flowers bloom and the birds all sing,

the little boy found,

flying all around,

seven

beautiful

butterflies.

Page 22-23

Each butterfly had yellow wings,

with bold, black stripes and bright-blue rings.

Each one was a joy to behold,

They glittered in the sun, like gold.

And the boy

was so

happy.

Page 24-25

Now came the part that would be hard;

he took them out into the yard.

He knew he had to let them go,

he'd made a promise, long ago.

So the boy,

set them

free.

Page 26-27

The boy felt strange;

had the journey ended?

He missed his flock that

for a year, he'd tended...


Page 28-29


...then the boy saw something he did not expect.


Page 30-32

Still there, he was not sure why,

was one last, little butterfly.

She'd chosen to stay with her friend.

On her, he could always depend.

And throughout all their happy days,

they remained,

just a boy

and a butterfly.

................................................................................................

The End

©™®

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Comments 44 comments

Charlotte B Plum profile image

Charlotte B Plum 5 years ago

Wow this was just beautiful from start to finish. I too keep caterpillars as pets and release them when they turn into butterflies. You have inspired me to write down some of our more memorable stories!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you Charlotte...I hope you do tell some of your butterfly stories!


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

What a lovely life experience for you and your son. And what a lovely tribute to Mary.

Voted UP and Beautiful and will be following your wonderful writing.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you so much Phyllis, I'm honored that you will be following:)


ZQJ profile image

ZQJ 5 years ago from Halo

Beautiful!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you ZQJ!


uniquearticlesbuz profile image

uniquearticlesbuz 5 years ago from USA

Its very interesting hub good luck for your future dear.......


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thanks for the luck and for reading!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

What a lovely story, and what a wonderful inspiration! Well done in the contest - congratulations!


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

This is a beautiful story Mrs. Menagerie, so care fully written, awesome buttlerfly pic too. Congratulations on your win. Regards, snakeslane


TKs view profile image

TKs view 5 years ago from The Middle Path

Very touching story. You and your son received a beautiful gift from nature. Congratulations on your award.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Congratulations on a terrific story, and your win!

Awesome!


Ghost32 5 years ago

This is absolutely marvelous. I know this because when I read it aloud to my wife, she went "Ooh!" and "Ahh!" and never yielded to her usual attention deficit even once.

Voted Up and Beautiful.


mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

Congratulations! You certainly deserved it with this Hub. Goodnight.


Marlin 55 profile image

Marlin 55 5 years ago from USA

This is absolutely a beautiful poem. It brought back some wonderful memories for me and being a kid in the wonderland of nature. Congratulations on you win.


Drax profile image

Drax 5 years ago from NYC....

Congratulations Mrs M... this has a cadence to it that really resonates with the story told in the poem. I enjoyed it immensely... Thank you !!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you all so much!! I am so honored to have been acknowledged among such fantastic fellow hubbers!


rosika profile image

rosika 5 years ago

What a lovely story written in a form of poem and delivered clearly what it meant to say...good job and congratulation Mrs. Menagerie!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you rosika!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

This should be an illustrated picture book, if it is not already. Reminds me of Stellaluna and some other favorites, but this poem is unique, profound, and joyous.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Wow Patty, I am honored by your compliment! I actually tried to do some illustrations myself but didn't like them...I suppose i could take it to the next step, if you really think it's worthy....?

BTW, I love Stellaluna too!


Hillbilly Zen profile image

Hillbilly Zen 5 years ago from Kentucky

What a beautiful, beautiful story, Mrs. Menagerie. Thank you for sharing it. You write with such descriptive clarity, I could see the whole story unfold.

Voted up, beautiful and awesome.


NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY

Very touching. Loved this!


Little Light profile image

Little Light 5 years ago from Australia

This is so very beautiful. The poetic flow of the story just carried me along so softly and gently. Thank you for sharing.


bluebird profile image

bluebird 5 years ago

This is precious, so touching and beautiful, sweet and innocent and childlike. Thank you! You write very well, a beautiful heart. Your son has the heart of his mother. Thank you so much for such a poem.


Stewart5 profile image

Stewart5 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

Very cool!


Stewart5 profile image

Stewart5 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

Very cool!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you so much Hillbilly Zen, NiaG, Littlelight, bluebird and Stewart!!!!!!


twolittlehands profile image

twolittlehands 5 years ago from Utah

Thank you for sharing this tender and touching experience. I am happy that your son was able to develop feelings of loyalty for small helpless creatures. It is a beautiful and uplifting story.


miss_jkim profile image

miss_jkim 5 years ago

Mrs. Menagerie, congratulations on your poem. I MUST agree with Patty English, you should find someone to illistrate your beautiful work and publish this. It is a wonderful piece!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words!!!!


Ms57Classic profile image

Ms57Classic 5 years ago from Massachusetts

I loved this!!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you kindly Ms57Classic!


santhianithzoorya 4 years ago

Beautiful... I loved this


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thanks so much santhianithzooya!


Pamela-anne profile image

Pamela-anne 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

What a wonderful true story in which you expressed it so brilliantly well done and congrads both to you and your son- to you for winning the contest and to your son for being a boy true to his word both are amazing accomplishments! Take care and thanks for sharing!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you so much for your very kind words Pamela-anne!


fostermom profile image

fostermom 4 years ago from Mich

This was a very good story for children .It shared natures cycle as well as a number of lessons such as responsibility, separation anxiety and the fact that life constantly changes. This was well written and simple.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you fostermom. And accolades to you, assuming you really are a foster mom. What ages are the children?


fostermom profile image

fostermom 4 years ago from Mich

We do not presently have foster kids presently,but have had approximately 18 give or take a few either way since 2003 . The youngest 12 and the oldest 17. We have done what is called specialized foster care most of them have blown many placements and many homes no longer will take them. My motto I think would be we do what we can with what we can and hope it helps,The other thing I tell people is exspect the unexpected because that is what you will get.If your in it because you want to give some poor kid a nice home forget it.


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 4 years ago from The Zoo Author

Wow! Sounds like an incredible challenge, you must have a very big heart!


noirepiphany profile image

noirepiphany 4 years ago from Southeast Asia

This piece of imagination was amazing, interesting and useful. All at the same time. The hub shouts out your immaculate grasp over the enigmatic neuron excitation inside your brain. To write in such a simple but elegant manner is a work of no common writer. Voted interesting and following the comments.


LuisEGonzalez profile image

LuisEGonzalez 3 years ago from Miami, Florida

Really nice!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 3 years ago from The Zoo Author

Thank you Luis!

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