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Imagine with me an island marble butterfly that lived in a cage within a snug cottage. Although the diaphanous winged insect loved the elderly man who kept it, the butterfly dreamed of exuviating the Sisyphean rhythms of daily life. At eventide, the caretaker talked to the butterfly about what he thought about and did throughout the day and what they would do on the next.

"If I should die before I wake..." Each night before bed the chipper lepidopterist opened the cottage window, and then placed his pipe, eye glasses, ear-trumpet, and pocket watch, on the table beside the enclosure.

Paper sculpture of white butterfly in cage

Early one morning before the keeper woke, the butterfly's chattering mind wandered while studying the contents of the table. An idea took hold. What a fascinating brain; ever wonder how butterflies taste with their feet? If the timepiece leaning against the bars rolled to the other objects, a chain reaction might unlatch the cage door. The brilliantly simple machine worked and the door swung open. If I knew that's all it took I'd have done it along time ago... the butterfly thought.

The rising sun illuminated its outstretched wings like a ship in full sail. The unfettered butterfly alighted on the window sill to wonder at the landscape and shape its course for the future. With one last backward glance at the watcher sleeping in his bed, the ivory butterfly knew the old collector would be sad when he discovered his friend had gone. After a pause the butterfly fluttered back to its shelter and closed the door.

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