It’s a story of so long ago, I can barely remember. Sitting here on this porch in this old age home it’s so hard to remember what happened. And yet, I will tell you what I can summon from the depth of remembrance of the time a butterfly took my hand.
I was ten, or was it nine? Round about 70 years ago we moved into a new house with an amazing garden. There were flowers of every colour, especially lilacs. Every day I would pick one to put in my hair. Quite often I would be surrounded by the most beautiful butterflies, dancing playfully around me on the wind like a colourful rainbow. Often I would almost imagine voices whispering on the wind. My favourite butterfly was one with purple wings that would sit on my shoulder as I danced.
One night I snuck out to dance among the flowers. As I lay between the sweet roses and lavender, a butterfly circled above. Suddenly it stopped, fluttering fiercely. Within minutes I was surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colour as ten butterflies swirled around me, going faster and faster. The wind buffeted me, throwing me to my knees as different coloured dust fell from each butterfly’s wings. Choking, I felt my back shudder as the dust settled on it. The butterflies slowed down, but something was different...
They all fluttered vertically! Only when the purple butterfly STOOD on my shoulder, did I notice the arms and legs and bodies and dresses and faces and eyes of all the butterflies around me. No, they were not butterflies, they were fairies! “Come, o come, little angel.” The purple butterfly sang. “Spread your wings and come play!” With a start I noticed the beautiful, feathery wings on my own back. As the fairies rose into the sky, my wings flapped and followed. Soon I was laughing and playing in the wind, till I was so tired that I had to go to sleep. I will never forget that night.
After that night, the fairies and I flew around every night, playing and singing along. Every time I met them, my angel wings would sprout and we’d dance among the stars. And I was happy. My grades at school were improving and I even made more friends. My parents were so happy that I was adjusting so well, that they bought me a present.
It was an adorable little kitten, snowy white with blue eyes and a wonderful tongue to give sandpaper kisses. I loved that kitten as much as I loved the fairies. They were the joy of my life! And yet perfection was fleeting, and so was joy. It could only last seven months. Then everything changed…
I was dancing with the fairies when Moonbeam (the cat) came out of the house. At first she was so surprised to see all the fairies, but was soon playing along. It was so wonderful to play with both the fairies and Moonbeam at the same time that I became careless. Higher and higher I flew and then dove to the ground, delighting moonbeam and the fairies. It was spectacular!
After I had said goodbye for the night and was walking home, I heard a fairy scream. I spun around and saw my cat crouched over the bright yellow fairy, the other fairies, staring in horror. I tried to stop her, but with a quick movement, she snapped the fairy’s neck and carried her to me. Gently she laid the dead fairy at my feet. I looked around at the pained expressions of the fairies. My gaze was caught by my purple fairy shedding a tear. Just as it dropped, they all disappeared.
I never saw the fairies again, and the butterflies never visited our garden either. It was just Moonbeam and me left and the little yellow fairy I kept hidden in my socks…
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