Look closely to see butterfly gathering in my front garden:


The butterflies are tiny and rather difficult to see, but there are four of them gathered on this flower. They were there yesterday as well. I was reminded of my very favorite Arnold Lobel book, Grasshopper on the Road. We checked out the audio book somewhere around 1999, and we listened to it over and over again. Here is Arnold’s imagination of how butterflies think and live. Considering that I saw these little guys yesterday at the same time and the same place, I think Mr. Lobel understood butterflies. Who do you identify with more? The butterflies or the grasshopper?


In the late afternoon Grasshopper saw a mushroom.
It was growing at the edge of the road.
“I will rest my feet,” he said.

Grasshopper sat on the mushroom.
Three butterflies flew down.
“Grasshopper,” said the butterflies, “you will have to move.”
“Yes,” said the first butterfly.
“You are sitting on our place.
Every afternoon at this time, we fly to this mushroom.
We sit down on it for a while.”
“There are lots of other mushrooms,” said Grasshopper.

“They will not do,” said the second butterfly. “This is the mushroom we always sit on.” Grasshopper got up.
The three butterflies sat down.

“Each and every day we do the same thing at the same time,” said the third butterfly.
“We like it that way.”
“We wake up in the morning,” said the first butterfly.

“We scratch our heads three times.”

“Always,” said the second butterfly.
“Then we open and close our wings four times. We fly in a circle six times.”

“Always,” said the third butterfly.
“We go to the same tree and eat the same lunch every day.”

“Always,” said the first butterfly.
“After lunch we sit on the same sunflower.
We take the same nap.
We have the same dream.”
“What sort of dream?” asked Grasshopper.
“We dream that we are sitting on a sunflower taking a nap,” said the second butterfly.

“Always,” said the third butterfly.
“When we wake up, we scratch our heads three more times.

We fly in a circle six more times.”

“Then we come here,” said the first butterfly. “We sit down on this mushroom.”
“Always,” said the second butterfly.
“Don’t you ever change anything?” asked Grasshopper.

“No, never,” said the butterflies.
“Each day is fine for us.”
“Grasshopper,” said the butterflies, “we like talking to you.
We will meet you every day at this time.
We will sit on this mushroom.
You will sit right there.
We will tell you all about our scratching and our flying.
We will tell you all about our napping and our dreaming.

You will listen just the way you are listening now.” “No,” said Grasshopper.
“I am sorry, but I will not be here.
I will be moving on.

I will be doing new things.”
“That is too bad,” said the butterflies.
“We will miss you. Grasshopper, do you really do something different every day of your life?” “Always,” said Grasshopper.
“Always and always!”
He said good-bye to the butterflies and walked quickly down the road.

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