Thursday, January 08, 2009


There is a tale that once the Prophet came upon a great battle. Two forces of men battled against one another, and much blood was shed, yet no man could say the purpose.

"This must halt," the Prophet decided, and at once caused the eyelids of every man present to fly away upon wings of jewels. "Now!" he cried. "Behold the truth from which you shielded yourself! Look, as you have no choice but to do, and see TRUTH!"

The Prophet saw that the battle had halted; and it was good. But he came upon the men nearest to him, and saw that they wept. He traveled further along the lines of battle, and saw that every man there, small or large, weak or strong, wept continually. "Why do you weep?" asked the Prophet. "Do you mourn for the battle that I have ended?"

"No," the men told him. "We weep that we may not blink, for our eyes water unbearably."

The Prophet saw the wisdom in this. He restored the eyelids of the men present, and the battle soon resumed. Not by force, he realized, would truth be realized among the races of men.

But the old eyelids still fluttered, fleet and free on their bejeweled wings. They spread far and lived long, and men learnt to call them "butterflies". The faces they bore on their wings showed the faces to which they ever longed to return - and it is known that, if you go to sleep with a butterfly on your face, you will wake up with it in place of one eyelid.

For the only way for the expatriate butterfly-eyelids to return to their homes is to eat an eyelid and take its place.

Weep, weep for the butterflies!

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