Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesdays with Words: On Butterflies

Another gem from The Storybook of Science, one of the selections from AO Year 4.   I could say more about it, but I think perhaps I’ll just let it speak for itself:
“They are, as it were, born twice: first imperfect, dull, voracious, ugly: then perfect, agile, abstemious, and often of an admirable richness and elegance.”
“These powerful godmothers for whom it is play to change mice into horses, lizards into footmen, ugly clothes into sumptuous ones, these gracious fairies who astonish you with their fabulous prodigies, what are they my dear children, in comparison with reality, the great fairy of the good God, who, out of a dirty worm, object of disgust, knows how to make a creature of ravishing beauty.  He touches with his divine wand a miserable hairy caterpillar, an abject worm that slobbers in rotten wood, and the miracle is accomplished: the disgusting larva has turned into a butterfly whose azure wings would have outshone Cinderella’s fine toilette.”
~Jean-Henri Fabre in "Butterflies" Chapter 21 of The Storybook of Science

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