Watching the world go by with... ‘ Wayfarer’
Idon’t know if the red admiral landed in the puddle by mistake or if the wind had blown it there but it wasn’t going to rise again under its own power. Those beautiful wings were spread — and wet. The weight of the water or the surface tension effectively glued the little flier to the ground where exhaustion, the cold or a thoughtless step would surely finish it off.
I had two bags of shopping and a dog I was training. I noticed the admiral but I kept on walking. Then I slowed and stopped. If I expected help from unexpected sources then I ought to be that unexpected source sometimes.
How did the admiral know what to do when I knelt in front of it and laid a finger in the puddle? I could have been yet another dangerous thing. Still, it dragged itself towards me, waterlogged wings trailing behind. I felt the tickle of its feet as it climbed onto my finger and saw the wings shake as they broke free of that killing puddle.
The heat from my hand seemed to help. I watched as the admiral closed and spread its wings a few times. But the shopping and the puppy were waiting so I reached to the branch of a nearby tree and the admiral stepped onto a more familiar platform.
Walking away I wondered what the experience must have been like for the butterfly. Like nothing it could ever have imagined, probably. But it still walked onto my hand and saved its own life.