The Butterfly and Envy
Once upon a time, a glorious garden lay at the foot of the worlds tallest mountain. This was a garden of wonderful colour, exciting fragrance and scent, and was home to a butterfly. The butterfly had no name, for living things had no need of names then, but he was always recognized for the kaleidoscope of colour upon his silken wings. His days were simple, and happy as he floated from flower to flower savouring the taste of the nectar.
One day, the butterfly gazed up at the mountain above, and noticed an eagle in flight above him. The eagle was powerful, and his flight was effortless and graceful as he rode the skies above the garden. His magnificent wings allowed him to ride the currents of air swirling around the mountain, and the butterfly watched him climb higher and higher, until he could see him no more.
Inspired by this King of the skies, the butterfly wished to join the eagle, and he flew out of the garden, higher and higher up the mountain. As he rose into the sky, his beautiful garden seemed to half in size, but at this altitude, the wind grew stronger preventing his flight. Away from the warmth of his garden he felt the cold, and his silken wings could carry him no higher. Eventually, he had to concede defeat to the mountain, and floated back to his garden.
Warm again, he looked back to the mountain, and once again watched the eagle soar high above him. The butterfly forgot his garden, and gazed upward at the eagle. He knew that no matter how hard his silken wings flapped, the cold winds of the mountain meant he could never fly like an eagle.
He watched the eagles flight, day after day, and as he watched, the wondrous colours of his wings began to fade, their light shades became dark shadows. Although no creature had ever been named before, he became known as ‘Envy’. The whole garden knew him by this name.
One day Envy was watching the eagle, and he swooped lower, and lower until he came to rest on a small tree at the bottom of the mountain. The eagle stood proudly, and regally surveyed the colourful garden. Envy studied the eagle’s cruel and sharp curved beak, and was puzzled how the eagle would drink the flowers sweet nectar. He looked at the powerful claws of the eagle, and though how easily they would break the delicate stems of the flowers in the garden.
It was at this moment, Envy realized the simple beauty of his own life. Although he could never fly like an eagle, he knew that an eagle could never taste the sweet and delicate nectar of the beautiful garden. With this understanding, the colour returned to his wings, even more dazzling and wondrous than before. He didn’t want to soar like an eagle anymore, and so the creatures of the garden forgot his name and he became a butterfly again.
As time passed, he would occasionally watch the eagle in flight, but he never allowed sorrow, or envy to fill his wings again.