Thursday, July 19, 2007


Whenever I spot two animals, I often say they are friends. If we see two puppies while driving down the road, I exclaim, "Look, they're friends!" Solo dogs get the sad remark of "Oh, they don't have a friend." This has been my sole argument behind why I need two puppies instead of one.

Today on my walk, I saw two butterflies.

"You're friends!" I cried. "How sweet."

"Yes," one said as they brushed by my cheek. "Why does this surprise you so?"

"Well, because you don't normally see two butterflies flying together as you two are," I said.

"We disagree," said the other butterfly. "Two is the best number there is. Three leads to competition and unfairness, four is two many and five is the perfect amount for bands or superhero groups."

"Or sheep," the other one added.

"I suppose that's true," I said. "But normally when you see two, they are a couple."

"Why does that matter?" one butterfly asked as he settled on my shoulder. "Can a couple not be friends?"

"Yes they can," I said, "But then they're not just friends, they're a couple."

"But couples are the best of friends," the other butterfly volunteered as she perched on my hair. "They know everything about each other in ways that normal friends couldn't dream. They are the most intimate of friends. Couples can't survive if they're not friends."

"True," I said. "Very true indeed."

"Why is it so important to you we are friends?" the first butterfly asked. "Why is that better to you?"

"It just seems like you're happier than a butterfly on it's own," I said.

"Not necessarily," the second butterfly fluttered next to my ear. "Perhaps the first likes being alone. Maybe they get happiness from that. Happiness is different for different people."

"Well, you've got a point there," I said. "But you two seem happy."

"We are," the first butterfly whispered.

"We're friends," said the second butterfly, smiling. I smiled back as they fluttered through the lush green grass.

"Friends," I repeated softly to myself. "They're friends."