Saturday, October 8, 2011

For the last couple of weeks, I've been collecting butterflies.

Mostly, this activity has consisted of borrowing specimens from friends. But, I got really obsessed one day and started chasing them by the zoo with a white plastic trash bag. I realized after about 30 minutes this was not going to work, so I texted my visiting teaching partner in my ward. She's the mom of a guy I used to have a crush on. And, she's awesome. I asked if she knew anyone who had a butterfly net. She responded right away: I have one, you're welcome to it! (She explained later that she uses it for pond-skimming). When I told her I was nervous about killing a butterfly, even for art's sake, she said: you have to be tough!  Five minutes after leaving her house, I caught a real pretty one, but I felt horrible. I had plans to make dinner with a guy I had a total crush on, so I showed up at his house with two butterflies flapping frantically in glass mason jars. Because, yes, I was running around the fence by the zoo on my way to his house. I made him google ways to euthanize insects. He said we could use a chemical used in nail polish remover, but it would take 2 hours. After a few minutes of scrounging around for the list of materials needed (it was an intense list), he said I could just put it in the freezer.

I felt so sad putting those jars in the freezer. I kept thinking about how my teacher said they have very short life spans. I was thinking a day or two. But, when I got to school the next day and told her I felt bad about freezing the butterfly, she said: It's okay, they only live for a year.

A year! That's a long time! And I killed it!!!! That night I had a nightmare where I was wondering around thinking I had killed someone. I was trying to figure out how long I'd have to be in jail. When I woke up, I still felt so guilty, the only thing I could do was go back to sleep. 

Anyways, I will never kill an insect on purpose again.
Unless its encroaching on my face. Or in my house. Or if its causing health issues.

Gosh that butterfly was so beautiful.
I'm so sorry.


  1. What did you need a dead butterfly for?

  2. I felt the same way when I had to make a bug box for school. Seriously.

  3. I think it's harder to kill the pretty insects. And butterflies might be the prettiest of them all.

    "Unless it's encroaching on my face." hahaha. Miss you sweet Emily.

  4. Oh Emily, I am so sorry. That is too bad. I heard that rumor about the butterfly lifespan just the other day. I am so glad you corrected that for me. I totally know how you felt because when my kids and I were at my parents' cabin we thought we would kill a big scary tarantula we found and give it to my dad for his bug collection, win-win, right? And interestingly we used a bowl of fingernail polish remover to do it because it reminded me of formaldehyde. Well, wouldn't you know but that tarantula got even SCARIER in the fingernail polish remover?? It would curl up in a ball and then come roaring out of the remover with all its legs and fangs going and scared us all spitless and one of my kids had nightmares that night and we all swore we would never kill again. Even a tarantula.


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