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Lessons of the butterfly

Lessons of the butterfly
Lessons of the butterfly
Dr. Wayne Willis

Walking through the woods, the little boy and his grandfather came across a green chrysalis hanging from a twig. Grandfather explained that inside was a caterpillar turning into a butterfly and soon, its wings fully formed, it would break free and fly away.

The boy, fascinated, asked his grandfather, “Can I take it home?”

Grandfather said, “On one condition. Only if you’ll promise that when the butterfly starts trying to get out, you won’t help it. Some things it has to do for itself. You just sit back and watch.”

Grandson promised. Grandfather broke off the twig. They took it home and placed the chrysalis and twig on the back porch table.

That night, after the grandparents were asleep, the boy tiptoed to the porch, hoping to see a miracle. After a while, the cocoon began to vibrate. It split open, almost in half. He watched its tiny, wet wings begin to quiver. In a rush of excitement and concern, the tender-hearted boy pried open the cocoon just a wee bit more. The butterfly fell out, rolled around several seconds on the table and died.

Next morning, a sad little boy confessed to his grandfather what he had done. Grandfather lifted him onto his lap and softly explained, “Honey, you meant well. You’re a kind, sensitive boy. It’s just that the butterfly, to strengthen its wing muscles enough to fly, to change them from soft to firm, has to flap them against the cocoon for some time.”

The boy whimpered, “Next time I’ll let it struggle its way out.”

For students, the 2020-21 school year presents humongous, dangerous challenges. We hope and pray that successfully negotiating the upcoming struggles and storms will strengthen their wings and advance their metamorphosis into the beautiful, resilient creatures they are meant to be.