This is the Story…Of One Butterfly…Born With A Bum Wing…Picked to live inside….And Named – BUTTERS!
Saturday afternoon, Luca ran inside yelling, “Come quick, mommy! There’s a butterfly outside!“
The butterfly was on the flagstone in my backyard, fluttering around, very unsuccessfully. It was obvious he couldn’t fly, so I picked him up and put him up in a safe spot, on our fence. You know, so my asshole cat wouldn’t terrorize him.
The next afternoon, having completely forgotten about the incident, I was surprised to walk outside and see him back on the ground. He’d fallen off the fence at some point and was back to performing his flutter-crash-flutter dance.
How do the strays always find me?
I ran back in and quickly asked over 3,000 of my closest friends what I should do…
(Aside: I wouldn’t know shit about shit without Google.)
First, it’s amazing how many butterfly forums there are. People love their Monarchs, man. Second, I came across a number of stories about other Flightless Monarchs. And people who have taken care of them.
Shit. Damn. Shit. I’m about to have a pet butterfly, aren’t I?
Butters was pretty weak, due to lack of food or water, so I decided the first step should be to see if he would even try to eat or drink something. Then I’d decide if he should go splat or not.
And, oh, how Butters ate (and drank)…sugar water, soaked on a paper towel, and an orange.
Then, I dug up an old mesh house, the kit where you raise your own butterflies (the infomercial one – yes, I got sucked in and bought one), and, BAM! Just like that, we owned a pet butterfly named Butters. (Wtf?)
Then my stupid heart was all, “Gah, this enclosure is way too small for him. I think even the splat of death would be better than this.”
So, once again, in a desperate attempt to avoid the splat, I came up with another plan.
A plan in which I found myself at the Home Depot nursery, during a torrential downpour (the nursery section has no roof), asking three employees if they had any milkweed for my rescued butterfly. They murmured amongst themselves, and unanimously declared they had no idea what the hell I was talking about.
Ummm, alright then, FLOWERS! With Nectar! What are your best flowers with nectar?
The man pointed to an area of colorful flowers and off I went into the pouring rain. I stood before a row of them. They all looked the same to me, but for their colors. I stood there in the pouring rain, looking over my choices, like it was the most normal thing in the world to be doing.
Do do do do do, just plant shopping for my pet butterfly, Butters, do do do do do.
I turned and waved at the three employees, all huddled together under the one area with a roof, whispering to one another about the crazy girl with the pet butterfly.
All worth it when Butters got his new home, of course. A free roaming home in my office. He walks around from flower to flower, where I place drops of sugar water. He’s also into oranges and watermelons, in case you were wondering.
Yesterday, he was looking a little sad though. You know, as sad as a butterfly can look. He just kept sitting right on the edge of the window.
I thought he’d appreciate some outdoor time. So, I sat him in our flower bed and let him feel the sun and wind on his perfectly imperfect wings. He sat there for five hours. Right up until the sprinklers were set to turn on.
It’s been five whole days since we met Butters.
He has become quite the internet-sensation, that guy. He’s even had his own live stream.
And, even though a lot of people, my husband included, think I’m one nut shy of whatever that saying is, Butters has also become quite the heart-sensation.
It started out as me trying to give this butterfly, who was dealt a fly-less, shitty hand in life, some not so shitty days.
It’s ending with me gaining an even greater appreciation for the value and miracle of life, big or small.
Like I asked my husband, “Would you rather be married to someone who walks right up and splats it, or the kind of person who walks right up to it and loves it?”
No, there will be no splat for Butters.
Because, that, my friends, is not in his cards.
I’m in this till the end.
(Which is supposed to be, on average, two weeks.)
(According to Google, of course.)
In the wise words of my friend, Heather…
Butters Por Vida