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Extreme Care for a Butterfly

 
 

Last fall I read an article about a woman in the Adirondacks who had found a monarch butterfly with a broken wing. Rather than let it die, Jeannette Brandt emptied her water bottle and placed the butterfly in it. When she got it home, she and her partner, Mike Parwana, began nursing the butterfly with rotting pears and honey mixed with water.

As the butterfly grew stronger, they turned to the Internet and Googled “fixing a broken butterfly wing.” They found a website with a 9 minute video that demonstrated how to do it. Following the instructions, they held their butterfly still while they brushed its wing with contact cement. Then they applied shreds of cardboard as a splint. The butterfly was still weak. They worried that the cardboard splint was too heavy. After a week, as the butterfly fattened up on honey and pears, it began to flap around the house. They worried that their cat would get it, but it escaped that fate.

The time came that the butterfly was healthy enough to set free, but the weather had turned too cool. So they made their way to a nearby truck stop where they found a trucker who agreed to carry a small box south.

A few days later, the trucker called them. Their butterfly was loose in Florida, free to join tens of millions of other monarchs making their winter migration to Mexico.

Who could not be touched by such a story of two human beings condescending to give such extreme care to a wounded insect? It reminded me of another story of a God who would go to such extremes to save the small creatures inhabiting a speck of dust in the Universe we call earth, a God who would send His Son to the cross for them.

2009 C. David Hess

 
 

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