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The Butterfly and the Mimosa

by Tonja Taylor  
1/24/2020 / Short Stories


A little butterfly named Mariposa1 loved her friend Mimosa2, the beautiful, graceful tree who decorated her branches with lovely pink blooms in the spring. She flew over to rest on a branch near the top. “Hello, dear Mariposa!’ said the mimosa tree. “How are you today?”

“A little sad,” said the butterfly.

“Sad!” said Mimosa, as she waved in the wind. “Why? Have those lying flies been chasing you again?”

“Yes, and they kept telling me I was a waste of the Creator’s time,” said the little butterfly as she grasped Mimosa’s branch more tightly. 

“Elohim3 never makes mistakes. So what’s wrong, my friend?” said Mimosa.

“I don’t know why I’m here,” moaned Mariposa. “What am I supposed to do?”

“This is where the Creator put you, and you are my friend!” replied Mimosa.

"But you have many friends,” said the butterfly, flying to another branch. “What can I do?” she asked again. “I cannot sing to Elohim like the birds. I cannot even make a sound.”

“Nor do I make a sound,” said Mimosa, trying to encourage Mariposa. “But that’s all right.”

“What can I do?” Mariposa said. “I cannot make a sound, nor give anyone a drink or a bath or a swim, like the brook can.”

“No, you cannot and I cannot,” said Mimosa. “But we are not made for that.”

“What can I do?” said Mariposa. She flew straight ahead, then zoomed back down to land on a lovely pink blossom. “I cannot offer shade and shelter for the animals, like you can, dear Mimosa.”

“Little Mariposa, why do you fret?” asked the tree. “You are perfect as you are. “

“But I don’t feel perfect,” replied the butterfly, rising and zigzagging in strange circles. “I don’t feel like I’m doing anything! What am I supposed to do?”

Mimosa was silent for a moment, then she said. “Why do you spread your wings in the mornings?”

“I don’t know. We butterflies just spread our wings, and soak up the sunlight so we can fly,,” said Mariposa.”4

“Well, that is one thing you do,” said Mimosa.

“But all butterflies do that,” said Mariposa, rising and landing again, as if she could not get settled.

Mimosa’s branches waved in the breeze for a bit. Then she said, “Why don’t you talk to Elohim? He created you, and knows all things.”

“Do you think the great Creator would answer me?” asked Mariposa. “I am just a little butterfly.”

“Yes, He will,” said Mimosa. “He created you and He loves you. He will listen. And He will answer.”

Mariposa was suddenly hopeful, but not sure she could do this. “Where do I find Him?”

“You will find Him on the breeze. You will find Him as you fly. You will find Him when you call, and listen with your heart,” said the wise tree. “He is very gentle, and nearer than you think,” she whispered. “Do not be afraid.”

Mariposa felt better. “Thank you for listening, dear Mimosa. I am sure Elohim will help me.”

“Yes, “ said Mimosa as she waved goodbye with her branches. “Please return and tell me what He says!” 

So Mariposa mounted up on the breeze. It really is a lovely spring day, she thought. And she believed that Elohim would help her. 

The clouds seemed as fluffy white towers above her. She started to climb, feeling lighter as she ascended. She soared over a housetop, then started over a yard. A little squeal and a giggle caused her to look down.

There below was a little dark-haired girl, wearing a shiny princess crown, pointing up at her and smiling. “Mommy!” She heard the little girl say. “Look! A flying flower! Pretty!” 

Mariposa realized the girl was talking about her.

Hmmm, she thought. I’ve never been called a flying flower before! She flew down a little closer. 

The girl's mother, delighted, looked up and laughed. “You smart birthday girl! That is such a clever answer for my Jess! But she is a butterfly! Say, ‘butterfly’ for me.”

“Butterfly!” said Jess.

“Good!” said her mother, and she picked up a lighter for the candle. “Look! Maybe the butterfly will join your fourth birthday party!” Then she looked sad for a moment.  “I’m sorry that the other kids and Aunt Lisa couldn’t make it today, Sweetie, but we’ll do something with them one Saturday when I’m off, Dumpling. Okay?” 

She lit the four candles on the cake.

Mariposa decided to fly down and look closer at the little girl. As she drew near, she noticed the girl was sitting in a funny chair, with a wheel on each side. And one of her legs was missing.

Oh, how sad! thought the butterfly. I have six legs, and two wings, but they are too small for her. But if they would help her, I could share!

She decided to fly down and say hello. 

“Are you ready, Dollie of mine?” said Jess’ mother.  She blew a roll-out paper horn at her daughter and sang, “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you! I love you so much and Jesus does too!” 

Jess giggled, shut her eyes, and blew out the candles. “Okay, Mommy. I prayed the butterfly would be with us!”

Just then, Mariposa flew near and brushed Jess’ cheek. Delighted, she said, “That tickles, Butterfly!” 

“It looks like God heard your prayer,” her mother said, and smiled. She cut a big piece of chocolate cake and gave it to her daughter in a bowl.

Jess started to dig in.

“Wait, Sweetie. Let’s thank the LORD for our food, okay?”

“Okay, and I thank Him for lots of chocolate ice cream, too. Four scoops, for my fourth birthday, pleeeeeeeez!”

“Yes, me too!” her mom said, and laughed, then bowed her head and said a short prayer.

She scooped four big spoonfuls of ice cream on top the cake. Jess took a big bite. “Mmmm!” she said, and nodded at her mom. “What a birthday!” said Jess. “Cake and ice cream and my very own butterfly!”

Mariposa was glad that she made the little girl smile. She landed on the table so Jess could see her.

“Look, Mommy! The butterfly likes me!” said Jess. She jumped up and down in her chair. “Do you want some cake, butterfly?” she asked, holding up her plate.

“Oh, God is so sweet!” said her mother. “Jesus answered your prayer, darling girl.” 

“Yes, Mommy! And He will answer our prayer for a new leg for me, too!”

Her mother hugged her close, then said, “Yes, and then you can learn to walk and run and be as free as the butterfly!” She held back tears, and said to Jess, “Why don’t we sing ‘Our God is a Good God,’ okay?”

As they sang, Mariposa rose and danced in the air. I like this! she thought. I feel so good!

“Mommy, Mommy!” said Jess. “The butterfly likes your music! She’s happy too! Oh, this is the best birthday ever! Thank you, Mommy!”

Her mother hugged her close again. “Thank You, Jesus, for sending this beautiful butterfly!” she said. And there was a tear of joy in her eye. 

The woman said I’m beautiful, thought Mariposa. No one has called me beautiful before.

“Let me take some pictures of my beautiful birthday girl!” said Jess’ mother. “Then we can hold them up to your Daddy in Heaven so he can see them, okay?” She smiled big, but her voice was strained.

Oh, poor little girl, thought Mariposa. Her father is gone. And she felt sorry for complaining to Mimosa. How could she comfort the little girl more? And then she knew! So she flew toward Jess. 

“Mommy, I wish Daddy was with us," Jess said.

Her mother sighed. “I know, Sweetie. But He is with Jesus! And I bet Daddy is celebrating your birthday too. He wants you to be brave for him. You’re his little soldier, remember?”

At that, Jess sat up straighter. “Yes! And we win!” She raised her fork up in the air and waved. “Hi Daddy! I bet you are a good Captain in Heaven, too!” 

Suddenly, her mother gasped and said, “Don’t move!”  She laughed and snapped a photo, and then another, and another.

“Mommy!” said Jess, a little indignant. “You didn’t tell me one-two-three!” 

Her mother made a silly face. “No, there wasn’t time! There was a beautiful butterfly on your head!” 

Jess blinked, her mouth open wide in amazement. “Mommy! Did the butterfly take a picture with me?”

Her mother nodded. “Yep! Wanna see?”

Mariposa felt happy.

Jess jumped up and down, which made Mariposa rise into the air again. Seeing the pictures, Jess said, “She did!”  Then she looked around. “But where is my beautiful butterfly?” And Mariposa, who had been circling over Jess’s head, came down and rested on her hand, gently folding and unfolding her wings.

“Shhh,” said her mother. “Be very still and maybe she won’t go away yet.”  Mariposa continued to rest on the little girl’s hand, wishing she could do more for her. 

Jess was very still, and whispered. “I wish she could stay. Can we keep her, Mommy?”

“No baby, she is free. She is an amazing creation of God. And did you know, Precious, that before she was a butterfly, she was an ugly worm?”  Mariposa saw shock on Jess’ face.

That’s right, thought Mariposa. I used to be much different! 

“An ugly worm?” said Jess. No, she is a butterfly! And very pretty!” 

“Yes, she is very pretty now, but first she had to be an ugly worm.5 She had to be changed into a new creature, like God says in His Book in 2 Corinthians 5:17—that the old creature is replaced with a new one.6” 

“That’s like what Jesus does for us when He saves us from our sins,7” her mother continued. She smiled and looked up. “He makes us new, and that’s what He did for your Daddy and me. He changed us from caterpillars to butterflies!” 

Jess was quiet. Then she said, “So you are a beautiful butterfly inside, Mommy? And Daddy too?” 

Her mother smiled. “Yes. And we will get to live forever with Jesus in His beautiful Garden in Heaven!”  Her mother leaned over the table and kissed and hugged Jess, looking into her beautiful brown eyes. 

“You can be a beautiful butterfly inside, too, Dear Jess. All you have to do is ask Jesus to come inside and change you.”  She hugged her daughter. “You won’t even be in a cocoon for 10 days. You will be changed quick as a wink!” 

Jess nodded, then looked again at Mariposa.

“Do you want to hold her, Mommy? She likes you, too.”

“Okay, I’ll try.” And she put her finger carefully next to Jess’s hand.

Mariposa rose and politely landed on her mother’s finger, resting again. It was fun to make Jess and her mother feel happy.

“Mommy, I think our butterfly understands us!” 

Her mother nodded and looked at Mariposa with amazement.  “Jesus answers our prayers in the most wonderful ways!” she said, “I asked Him to make this day full of joy for you, Sweet Jess. And He did—for me too!”

Mariposa rose. She felt very happy. And she couldn’t wait to tell Mimosa all about it!

“Bye beautiful butterfly!” said Jess, waving at Mariposa. “Please come back! I don’t have a birthday tomorrow, but I love to be outside in the garden. Will you come back?”

Mariposa rose and waved her wings at Jess and her mom. I will come back, she said to them with her wings. It was such fun making them feel good. And it was so easy to do. 

Her mother looked a little sad. “Sweetie, she may not be back, but she has given us special memories!” She picked up the camera. “We’ll print these pictures and also email them to your aunt and uncle in Africa. We can post them on he internet too. They can show the pictures to the children they are teaching to speak English and help them learn more about Elohim.”

“Elohim?” asked Jess.

Elohim! They know the Creator! Mariposa thought.

“Come back, butterfly!” said Jess. 

“I think your Aunt Cindy said that some of the natives in Africa—“

“Where is Africa, Mommy?”

“Across the ocean. I’ll show you on the map, Sweetie. But you know Aunt Cindy and Uncle Rob are over there telling the people about how Jesus can turn them from caterpillars to butterflies. They raise butterflies and sell them to make money so they don’t have to help keep the rain forest from going away.8 They call the butterflies ‘Kipepeo’ there.”9 

“Yippee! They’ll be so excited! Can we go see the butterfly farms?” 

“Maybe," said her mom. "Anything is possible with God, Jess!”10 

Mariposa rose above the housetop, headed to tell Mimosa the good news. As she flew, she was very grateful. “Thank You, Elohim, for making me a butterfly!” she said out loud, knowing the Creator would understand, for He understood the language of every thing that He had made.

She couldn’t see Him, but she knew He was all around. Her friend, who was very wise and had lived much longer, had said that He would answer. 

“Thank You for giving me life and giving me wings,” said Mariposa, “so I can visit my new friends and make them happy. What a good life You have given me!”

A stronger breeze lifted her higher, and she thrilled to hear the voice of Elohim, as gentle as a whisper: “You are a delight,” He said. “And you bring hope of new life.”

Mariposa smiled up at Him. 

“Just be yourself, Mariposa,” said her Creator. “Just be. That is all you ever have to do.” 

“Yes, Elohim,” said the happy butterfly. “I love being me!

The End

(notes and educational material follow!) 

NOTES

1“Mariposa” (mah-ree-POH-sa) is the Spanish word for butterfly. Mariposa From wikipedia.com 

 2 Mariposa is a Mimosa Butterfly, or “Two-tailed Swallowtail.” Mimosa Butterfly - Papilio multicaudata - BugGuide.Netbugguide.net/node/view/261300/ bgimage

3 http://www.myredeemerlives.com/namesofgod/ adonai-elohim.html "Elohim" is used in Scripture when emphasizing God's might, His creative power, and His attributes of justice and rulership. Elohim” refers to Him as the Creator who interacts with and reveals Himself to His creation.

4 http://www.newscientist.com/article/ mg20126956.400-solar-cells-feel-thebutterfly- effect.html "Natural Solar Collectors On Butterfly Wings Inspire More Powerful Solar Cells" ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2009) — The discovery that butterfly wings have scales that act as tiny solar collectors has led scientists in China and Japan to design a more efficient solar cell that could be used for powering homes, businesses, and other applications in the future.

5 http://www.google.com/imgres? imgurl=http://kwiznet.com/images/questions/grade1/ science/life_cycle_of_butterfly A butterfly’s life has four stages -- egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Similar to other insects, butterfly begins its life as an egg. When a butterfly egg hatches, the young looks very different from the adult. It looks like a very small worm with short legs. It is called a caterpillar or larva. The larva does nothing but eat. It grows bigger and bigger until it is full size. Then it enters the third stage called the pupa. Sometimes a caterpillar spins a silk covering around itself for protection during the pupa stage. This covering is called a cocoon. When a caterpillar is in the pupa stage, a great change takes place. The worm like caterpillar turns into an adult butterfly with four large wings and six long legs.

6 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 

7 John 3:16 (NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 

8 East Africa Battles Deforestation With Butterfly Nets http://www.terradaily.com/reports/ East_Africa_Battles_Deforestation_With_Butterfly_N ets_99 9.html Farmers who had been earning a meagre living producing cash crops such as coffee and bananas are now reaping the rewards of butterfly farming, says the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group. by Beatrice Debut Gede, Kenya (AFP) Jul 26, 2007

9 Arabuko Sokoke on the Kenyan coast is known for its rare species of butterflies, which a development project called “Kipepeo" (butterfly in Swahili) is helping export to exhibits and museums in Europe and North America. (see link/article above)

10 Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Mark 10:27 “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’” 

Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, on River Rain Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), AnchorFM, their church, the region, and beyond

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