The Wasp & The Butterfly

22 Mar

I’ve always thought butterflies are one of the most beautiful creatures on earth. I even have one tattooed since the day i turned 18 years old (yes, that’s a while ago now ;p). One could think they’re fragile and it’s true they don’t have a long life but, despite their gracefulness, some of them can do amazing things.
The Monarch migrates over long distances and creates an amazing natural spectacle every year. Some have developed symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants. Even though some species can damage domestic crops or trees, others are agents of pollination of some plants, and even eat harmful insects. Not to mention the times their image has been used by artists over the centuries.

Today i found this fable by Aesop (translated by Laura Gibbs), and i want to share it with you:

———–The Wasp & The Butterfly————

A butterfly noticed a wasp flying by and exclaimed, ‘What an unfair turn of events this is! In our previous lifetimes, when we inhabited the bodies from whose mortal remains we received our souls, I was the one who spoke eloquently in times of peace and fought bravely in war, and I was first among my fellows in all of the arts! Yet look at me now, an utter frivolity, crumbling into ashes as I flutter here and there. You, on the other hand, were formerly a mule, a beast of burden, yet now you stab and wound anyone you want with your sting.’ The wasp then uttered words that are worth repeating: ‘It does not matter what we used to be: the important thing is what we are now!’

Note: This fable derives from the ancient belief that wasps would spring from the carcass of a dead mule or horse (e.g. Aelian, Characteristics of Animals 1.28), while a spirit or ‘psyche’ would take shape in the form of a butterfly (Aristotle, History of Animals 551a).

Sing me a song

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