Monday, April 17, 2006

Priceless Freedom

Bertle Fliddle Tipple Top was the wisest Butterfly of all. She came from a long line of Tipple Top's going back to long before the defoiliation of the Amazon forests. Her prowess in Butterfly land was supreme. She could fly higher and longer than any of her close knit inner circle. Was she beautiful? Oh my yes. Her golden wings were laced with iridescent reds and purple highlights that made her a bonafide dazzler. To this day they still tell stories about how she helped so many in their quests for freedom.

Her favorite story was about her own bursting forth into flight from her cocoon. There are many amazing tales throughout the world about many very important subjects but none will capture the magic and the imagination like this one telling of the weeks that went before Bertle Fliddle Tipple Top metamorphosis into the magnificent creature she is today.

It seems that one day as a caterpillar she was ravenously hungry. Here she was crawling around feeling very happy eating through so many leaves that her stomach felt like it would burst. After the initial sugar rush she became very sleepy and climbed up a little higher to take a nap. Now caterpillars are famous for their naps. They can sleep for a very long time and then get up and find the next feeding place. Also they would of course dream of becoming butterflies. As she snuggled up on the branch however the usual butterfly dream did not come. Instead for the first time she heard the thoughts of all the other sleeping butterflies. At some point she must have left her tiny caterpillar body because she saw now that there were other caterpillars sleeping on the tree. Some of them looked like they were dead but to her surprise she heard one of these inert creatures speak to her.

"Hey you are new here. Listen don't believe that crap about flying free one day. That is for the birds. We have enough trouble hiding from those birds here on the ground without flying about making it easier for them to eat us," He said as another voice popped in.

"Yeah just stay here and don't think about getting free or waking up. It is safe here. The birds won't touch us. Smarten up kid and join us. We have a routine. We sit here and do nothing all day and then do the same thing the next day. Try not to move too much or think about moving because your food supply will be used up. I bet you didn't know you were in your cocoon did you? Well you are for your information," She said fading quickly.

Bertle Fliddle Tipple Top was shocked. All her life she dreamed of becoming a butterfly and now they were telling her it was dangerous and that she might be eaten for all of her waiting. She sat back and listened some more.

"That one over there tried to make it and then changed his mind at the last minute. We warned him but no he wouldn't listen and now he is all dried out," He said trying not to shudder because that would mean he was moving and then he would have to face the changes that were coming over him.

"Just remain where you are is my motto. Change, smange who needs it. It's overrated anyway. I wish we could have the authorities stop those who want to change. It makes it look bad for all of us. If you ask me they are all troublemakers," She said as Bertle FTT listened for a while longer.

After a much longer pause she had another out of body experience and wondered where the voices were. She looked down and saw that both had decayed and not made their change. In an instant's revelation she knew what she must do. With all her being she wished for the moment when she would forever become a butterfly. As soon as she did she felt herself changing. At first it was painful and then the pain subsided as she stretched this way and that. Finally the day arrived and lo and behold she unfolded her newly found wings. She took a deep breath and stretched them ever so gently. As luck would have it a gentle breeze was blowing just then and it lifted her far up beyond the trees where she soared for hours before returning to the ground to rest. The next morning she spent tasting the most delicious flowers she could find.

All around her she met new friends who she laughed and played with all day long. Ah what a wonderful feeling freedom was. If only the others she had left behind on the tree knew. They had let their fears and the doubts of others keep them from making this wonderful journey, this magnificent transition. Bertle Fiddle Tipple Top then resolved to hover over the sleeping cocoons and sing them the song of their freedom so that they would never forget to always try to be free first in their own minds. It is for this kindness and sharing that she was recently awarded the high flying super nectar honor given for a lifetime of service in the area of Priceless Freedom. Her name still sits at the top of the family tree of Tipple Tops there reserved in honor for perpetuity for the family member most embodying the Butterfly Creed.


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