The Fluttering Heart
I woke up in the morning having a marvelous dream in which I had won the badminton match in the inter-school competition!!! I was ready to receive the trophy when the alarm rang… Rrrriiinggg!!! It ran so loud that it jarred me awake!
I was very unhappy with the intrusion in my perfect dream! Then, suddenly, I remember something… I ran to my study room. Lying there was an empty jam bottle on my study table and inside was the treasure!!!
A colorful, beautiful butterfly! Different colors on its wings – red, green, blue. It looked so beautiful when it fluttered its wings!
Oh! How difficult was it to catch the creature! That too without a net! It kept flying away from my grasp. I could catch it after many trials… and keep it inside the bottle without hurting it. I had created few holes on the cap of the bottle to let air pass through and few tender leaves for the butterfly to nibble on. I might have trapped the creature but I cared for it!
And now it was going to be part of my Science project. We have to study a living creature every month. Most of my friends drew diagrams, but I had different idea and decided to study a living creature and submit as part of the project.
And today is the day to display our Science project!
I got ready hurriedly, gulped down my food ignoring what my mother was to say to that behavior and left for the school.
The school was within walking distance from my house – about 15 minutes walking distance. I took the short-cut through the backyard of a large, empty house. There was a garden at the backside of the house which grew grasses being uncared for sometime and there were a few trees. People use to take this short-cut to reach the main road where my school was situated.
I took the walkway dividing the grass in the garden. It had rained the night before. The grass was still wet and I could smell nature – the trees, flowers – the typical smell when you are close to the nature!
I walked through keeping a faint smile on my face and holding the jar. The golden rays of the morning Sun streamed through the glass reflecting on the wings and added sheen to it. The butterfly looked gorgeous. I could not control my excitement, satisfaction and my heart was thumping as I knew my Science project was going to come out first in the display!
The butterfly fluttered its wings reflecting the Sunrays inside the bottle beaming like a rainbow.
Is it too exited too? Does it know today is a big day? What would happen today?
I reached school earlier … the main gate was yet to open fully. I sneaked in through the side gate. Few friends were playing on the ground. I ignored them completely. Today is a big day and headed straight towards my class holding my treasure carefully enjoying the curious glances from a few fellow students…
* * * * *
I had kept the bottle on the windowsill in the classroom next to the bench where I sit. The boys had started reaching the class.
The news spread like fire. Within minutes the area was full of boys coming even from other sections and everyone gaping at the butterfly. Some wanted to see very closely while some wanted to touch it. Some even had bright idea of giving it breakfast from their lunch boxes!
And every time the boys touched the bottle, the butterfly fluttered its wings energetically – more and more – as if it wanted to say something!
Luckily, the teacher arrived and the boys went back to their place.
That day’s Science class was the most interesting. The teacher was very happy as my effort helped the entire class to learn about the butterfly. Everyone thanked me.
And I felt like a star!!!
I was very happy walking back from the school taking the route.
It was afternoon and the grass was no longer wet. No longer were there the smell of the trees and flowers and the so called smell of the nature.
The butterfly again fluttered while going past the garden albeit weakly and only few times … the sheen was gone and it lied at the bottom of the jar moving its wings from time to time …
I was worried … something must have gone wrong.
* * * * *
I woke up at dawn. Something was bothering me and I was not able to sleep through the night. I came to my study room.
The bottle was lying there on my study table.
I patted lightly on the lid of the bottle. The butterfly didn’t move. My heart thumped.
Is it sleeping?? Is it dead?
I shook the jar. It still didn’t move. It laid there still.
Suddenly, I was afraid. I ran to bring water, opened the lid and sprinkled little water on the butterfly.
The water seemed to help the butterfly. It shivered a little and again became still.
Oh! Thank God! It is not dead!
I sat still on the bed looking at the bottle on the study table and inside was the butterfly. It laid there still inside the jar.
I realized what a cruel act I had done by trapping the beautiful creature inside the bottle.
I came to the balcony of our house holding the bottle tightly. The outside air was cool and fresh. I opened the lid and started shaking the jar little.
The butterfly started moving its wings slowly as if it was coming out of a deep slumber. I went back and started watching it from a distance.
The butterfly slowly came out of the jar and stood on the edge for some time spreading its colorful wings. It stood there for some time and flapped its wings.
Then suddenly it took the flight, hovered on my head for once and then flew out in the dawn.
I felt happy. I had sent the butterfly back to where it belong – the nature.
The Sun was rising. It was a new day in my life with a new learning.