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TheGreedyimp
December 31st, 2013, 02:33 PM
Spring


Spring has finally arrived yet again. The snow has cleared to reveal a plethora of life, ready to burst. The grass grew green and the flowers flourished.


And from the green grass, critters crawled their way out of the undergrowth. The ants, awake after the cold season, marched out of their colony and restarted their long tradition of toil.


And with the blossoming of the flowers, came the blossoming of a majestic creature.


The butterfly


The butterfly burst from its cocoon and spread its wings. It was ready to starts its new life, a life not on ground as a caterpillar, but one in the sky, soaring through the wind.


The butterfly took to the air and flew across meadow after meadow and stream after stream. It fluttered, flattered, and flittered, as it weaved between bluets, blood roots, and dewberries. It did so with such pleasure and delight. The butterfly decided to do this for the rest of the year, flying around to its heart’s content.


Then, the butterfly came upon the ants. They were all laboring away, already stocking up for the winter. The butterfly was saddened by such drudgery, so the butterfly approached these hard workers.


“Ants, come and play with me.”


“We cannot,” the ants chorused, “we must work and prepare for the winter.”


“Why must you prepare now?” the butterfly protested, “winter is far from near my friends.”


“It is best to prepare for days of need.” They solemnly stated, “the grasshopper learned this lesson. You’d best learn it before it is too late.”


Undeterred by the ant’s admonishment, the butterfly flew across the meadows and past spring. Past summer. Past fall.


The butterfly and the ants met one last time before the snow began to fall.


“Do you understand now?” the ants said, “It is better to prepare for days of need.”


“No, ants,” the butterfly said, “It is you who does not understand. Yes, I will die, now that winter is upon us and I have not prepared for it. My life will end short, but as short as it may have been, every second of it was full of fulfilling excitement. No matter how prepared you ants are, you will die having lived a life of only servitude. While you were toiling, I was living.”


The butterfly took off into the wind, one last time. Even in its last flight, there was no sadness. No regret. Only delight.

thepancreas11
January 3rd, 2014, 03:06 PM
I love this theme. I try to live by this theme. It's a cool take on a fable, and it's on hallowed ground: a refreshing morality tale. It's funny to think I can associate with an arthropod, but I do.

It could use a bit of polishing though. The first line "Spring has finally arrived yet again. The snow has cleared to reveal a plethora of life, ready to burst." really doesn't flow. "Finally" and "yet again" are opposites of each other; "finally" implies that you have been looking forward to it, and "yet again" implies that you are dreading it. You might start the piece with "Another Spring" rather than just "Spring" and you'll find that you don't even need that line. "A plethora of life" is also slightly off because plethora suggests a plural and life is singular. Even though it works grammatically, it feels strange rhythmically. Also, reexamine the phrase "full of fulfilling excitement".

My advice in this case is to read your work quickly, preferably aloud. If you find yourself stumbling over words as you say them, they probably don't fit well together as far as a meter goes. Meter is everything in prose, just as it is in poetry.

Otherwise, I smiled when I read this. It's powerful without being overwhelming.

amyenewsham
January 12th, 2014, 02:12 PM
I really like it and I agree with the comments above.

However, I would think about your audience - who is going to read this? Does it read out loud well? Does the language suit the reader? For example: I don't think "plethora of life" does suit the child audience.

These are things to think about when you come to re-drafting your work.

- - - Updated - - -

I really like it and I agree with the comments above.

However, I would think about your audience - who is going to read this? Does it read out loud well? Does the language suit the reader? For example: I don't think "plethora of life" does suit the child audience.

These are things to think about when you come to re-drafting your work.

tinacrabapple
January 18th, 2014, 02:41 AM
Aesop's fables are didactic and this message says it's OK to spend your life at play. Although a noble theme, it is an adult theme. I also felt the lesson was extremely under-developed for such a short story.

Maki
January 23rd, 2014, 04:01 AM
The commentary in story form worked well for me. Honestly, I had the same idea when I read the fable, Ant and Grasshopper, but my commentary was in a non-fiction format.
Writing the response in the same tone as the material read, for me, shows you were moved by the material and your respect for the author. And your alliterations were cool, seems like you were intending this for young readers, although young readers wouldn't get your moral well, as they were carefree as the butterfly.
I enjoyed your piece. :D

reedak
June 11th, 2015, 04:38 AM
The theme of your fable "the Ant and the Butterfly" is in sharp contrast to that of Aesop's "the Ant and the Grasshopper".

I am sure it is everybody's dream to be able to live like the Butterfly instead of the Ant. It reminds me of the famous butterfly dream of Chuang Tzu, a contemporary of Mencius. Chuang Tzu is universally regarded as the greatest Taoist after Lao Tzu. His butterfly dream is probably the most celebrated dream ever to be recorded in the history of Chinese Philosophy.

The question why he dreamt of the Butterfly and not the Ant, for example, can be attributed to the way the mind functions and the role it plays in dreaming: what's within is manifested without; our personality is a representation of our inner-self. Chuang Tzu was the sort who enjoyed living in total freedom. The butterfly he dreamt of was therefore, him, or what he wished to be.

The problem is that in real life, Man has to work more like the Ant than the Butterfly. Billions of old people, even in the so-called First World, have to toil more than 12 hours a day just to earn a meagre salary for their own survival. Alas! Their miserable life is too long for them and not as short as that of the Butterfly. Unless you are a millionaire, you can't afford to "flit around" like the Butterfly in the real world.

I prefer teaching the moral values of Aesop's "the Ant and the Grasshopper" than your fable "the Ant and the Butterfly" to students. Teaching Aesop's fable to the students would imbue the students with the right values to prepare them for the reality of life. They have to be taught from young to work hard for a living, and there is no free lunch in the world.