Walking down a path though
some woods in Georgia in 1977, I saw
water puddles ahead on the path and
angled my directions to go around it on
the part of the path that wasn't covered
by water and mud.
As I reached the puddle, I was suddenly
attacked! Yet I did nothing - for the attack
was so unpredictable ans from a source so
Totally unexpected. I was startled, but
unhurt, despite having been struck four or
I backed up a step or two and the aggressor
stopped his attack. Instead he hovered in
the air on graceful butterfly wings in front
me. had I been hurt, I wouldn't have found
it amusing, But as I was unhurt, I found the
whole thing to be rather amusing and I found
myself laughing. after all, a butterfly
was attacking me!
Having stopped laughing, I took a step
forward and my attacker rushed me again,
ramming me in the chest with his head
and body. stricking me over and over
again with all his might, still to
no avail. for a second time.
I retreated and again my attacker relented.
yet again I tried moving forward and again
my attacker charged me, ramming me in the
chest, over and over again:
Unsure what to do, I retreated a third time.
After all it's just not everyday that one
is attacked by a butterfly. This time, I
stepped back several paces to look the
situation over. My attacker moved back as
well landing on the ground. That's when I
discovered why my attacker had charged me only
He had a mate and she was dying. She was beside
the puddle where he landed. sitting close beside
her, he opened and closed his wings as if to fan
her. I could only admire the love and courage
of the butterfly in his concern for his mate.
He had taken it upom himself to attack me for
the sake of his mate, even though she was
clearly dying, and as i was large he did so
just to give her those extra few precious moments
of life should i have been careless enough to
step on her.
Now I knoew why and what he was fighting for
and there was really only one option left
for me. I carefully made my around the puddle
to the other path, though it was only inches
wide and extremely muddy. His courage in
attacking something thousands of time
larger, and heavier than himself, just for
his mate's safety, justified it.
I couldn't do anything other than reward
him by walking on the more difficult side
of the puddle. He had truly earned those
moments to be with her, undisturbed.
I left them in peace for those last few moments
cleaning the mud from my boots when I reached
Since then, I've always tried to remember the
courage of the butterfly whenever I see hugh
obstacles facing me, I use that butterfly
courge as an inspiration and to remind
myself that good things are worth fighting for.