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The Philosophical Discussions of a Butterfly and a Cockroach

‘I think,’ the cockroach started, rolling the words in his mouth as he developed the sentence.

‘You think?’ The butterfly urged.

‘I think, that people are scared of me because I don’t look like how they’d wish me to look.’ The cockroach finished.

‘I think they’re scared of you because you can survive a nuclear explosion.’ The butterfly told him.

‘You don’t have the problem I do.’ The cockroach said with a sigh. ‘People aren’t scared of you, and thus, you can’t understand my current emotions.’

The butterfly sat and pondered this for a bit, annoyance at the cockroach’s condescending tone were clouding her thoughts. Finally, she spoke. ‘I actually don’t see the fascination you have with them accepting you.’

The cockroach stayed silent, and the butterfly’s voice started to waver.

‘I mean, what’s so great about wanting land on a little girl’s chubby, outstretched finger to bring her joy, when in one sadistically sudden movement, the wings you spend hours drying are abruptly ripped from your torso and you’re left helpless? What’s so great about that cockroach?’

The cockroach had heard rumours of the butterfly’s sister, and her mysterious disappearance, he, however, was not in the mood to console or pity anyone but himself.

‘Well, do the little girls scream on you when you land on them?’

‘No, but they’re secretly harbouring a plan to de-wing me. At least their fear and hatred of you is out in the open.’ The butterfly shifted uncomfortably.

‘Are you sure?’ The cockroach questioned, he simply couldn’t believe that all the little girls, and all their young innocence, would purposely harm such a pure butterfly.

‘Yes,’ the butterfly confirmed. ‘Look, I think that you shouldn’t care what the little girls think. Because, in the event of a nuclear explosion, you shall survive, and they shall not. If you’re beheaded, you can survive for multiple days, if not weeks, whereas their deaths shall be instantaneous. However, they can drink Coca Cola, and well, you can’t.’ The butterfly stopped to suck in a breath and stretch her fragile wings. ‘It’s a win-lose situation Cockroach, you just have to realise that life is a win-lose situation, and as long as you look at the losses as constructive learning experiences and the winnings as positive rewards, life won’t be all that bad.’ She was beginning to get sick of his moping and self-pity.

‘When did you become so philosophical, Butterfly?’ The cockroach feigned a gasp of awe.

‘Roughly eleven o’two this evening, so an hour ago. It seems that philosophy only hits you when you’re tired and near a dream state. I theorise that my brain channels are open and thoughts flow through with ease.’ She replied seriously.

‘How big is your brain?’ The cockroach asked with a smirk.

‘Oh shut up, Cockroach, at least my brain isn’t located near my digestive system.’ The butterfly retorted, humour lacing her voice.

‘Touché,’ the cockroach replied, because indeed his brain was not in his head, and often when melancholy would strike him, he would get the most severe stomach pains.

Circling above, a mother blackbird spotted the two insects clicking in their insect way. She did not understand what the insects were saying, and she didn’t even know if they could engage in conversation, after all, the butterfly’s brain was very small, and the cockroach’s was in his stomach.

Nevertheless, she swooped down. Her chicks were hungry, and she had a meal to regurgitate. At the last minute, she saw the fear in the cockroach’s eyes as he scrambled along the branch, and butterfly’s utter resignation painted across her features as she squarely faced the bird.

The bird shook her head, wishing she’d just closed her eyes and attacked as per. She continued past the branch, leaving the cockroach and butterfly to recover from their near death experience.

‘I’m going vegan,’ the bird muttered to herself. ‘Or at least go for worms, they don’t have faces.’ And as she started to scan for less animated food, she thought about Sheryl Sparrow, the bird in the next tree over, who claimed to have some great vegan recipes, and the cockroach and butterfly slipped from her mind.

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Written by Hannah Ireland

18 year-old politics student from VUW, New Zealand. All about storytelling, tea and procrastination

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