Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia in 1977, I saw a
puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on
of the path that wasn't covered by water and mud. As I reached the
was suddenly attacked!
Yet I did nothing for the attack was so unpredictable and from a
totally unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having
struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my attacker
stopped attacking me. Instead of attacking more, he hovered in the
graceful butterfly wings in front of me. Had I been hurt I wouldn't
found it amusing, but I was unhurt, it was funny, and I was laughing.
all, I was being attacked by a butterfly!
Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My attacker rushed me
He rammed me in the chest with his head and body, striking me over
again with all his might, still to no avail. For a second time, I
a step while my attacker relented in his attack.
Yet again, I tried moving forward. My attacker charged me again. I was
rammed in the chest over and over again. I wasn't sure what to do,
than to retreat a third time. After all, it's just not everyday that
attacked by a butterfly. This time, though, I stepped back several
look the situation over. My attacker moved back as well to land on the
ground. That's when I discovered why my attacker was charging me only
He had a mate and she was dying. She was beside the puddle where he
Sitting close beside her, he opened and closed his wings as if to fan
could only admire the love and courage of that butterfly in his
his mate. He had taken it upon himself to attack me for his mate's
even though she was clearly dying and I was so large. He did so just
her those extra few precious moments of life, should I have been
enough to step on her.
Now I knew why and what he was fighting for. There was really only one
option left for me. I carefully made my way around the puddle to the
side of the path, though it was only inches wide and extremely muddy.
courage in attacking something thousands of times larger and heavier
himself just for his mate's safety justified it. I couldn't do
other than reward him by walking on the more difficult side of the
He had truly earned those moments to be with her, undisturbed. I left
in peace for those last few moments, cleaning the mud from my boots
later reached my car.
Since then, I've always tried to remember the courage of that
whenever I see huge obstacles facing me. I use that butterfly's
an inspiration and to remind myself that good things are worth