On a beautiful tropical island with many different animals, even ones not found on any other islands, there lay a very special beach. This story, however, is not about those animals; not even the hardest to find ones. This story is about the beach's much smaller inhabitants. Specifically, this story is about a moth.
Only this moth was not like other moths. This moth didn't like going out at night. He thought it was too dark, and cold to boot. “You cannot even see the flowers! Or the shapes that light through the leaves make!” he would say. No, this moth – called the Day Moth - much preferred daytime and the warmth.
This presented a problem for the Day Moth. You see, moths normally come out at night. So what was this Day Moth doing liking the day? Because of this, the Day Moth was ostracized by all the other moths. And because of that, he had no one to spend all of his time with.
Of course, there were the butterflies... butterflies loved the daytime, because that was when they either worked, or practiced their acrobatics. In fact, if you asked a butterfly what nighttime was for, they would tell you, “Studying!” or, “Sleeping, of course!” If they even took the time to answer you at all.
Everyone on the island knew that while the moths roamed happily after dusk, butterflies were either dreaming of the day to come, or studying for their medical examinations.
Because of their differences, moths and butterflies never got along. Which made things that much more difficult for the Day Moth. This did not stop the Day Moth from trying to befriend the short-tempered butterflies, especially one butterfly in particular. This butterfly had beautiful wings of all different colours, and she was also a gifted doctor. The Day Moth, not brightly coloured, was shy and a little worried that the butterfly might not like him back.
Still, the Day Moth tried to catch her attention. “Hey!” He would call out to her, “Hey, wanna fly together?”
But the butterfly would flutter off to the clinic she ran, making daring acrobatics look like a piece of cake. The Day Moth knew he could not give up so easily.
The day Moth devised a plan. First, he would pick as many flowers as he could carry. He looked for the most beautiful ones and when he finally found all he could, the Day Moth began to make a mosaic out of them.
The butterfly, on her way to work one day, couldn’t help but notice the flowers blocking her way. She was annoyed, because she knew this might mean that she would be late. Without stopping to smell the roses, she dipped and ducked, flying up and around the bouquet. The Day moth, seeing the butterfly flutter past without even taking a look, felt she must not care for his message. If she would not take the time to look at his hard work, then, the Day Moth concluded, he did not want her approval or her attention any more. The Day Moth flew off to find something fun to do for the day.
In a rush, with two impending surgeries on her mind, and already late, the butterfly noticed from the corner of her eye someone fleeing the flowery scene. She stopped, because it didn't look like any butterflies she knew. She wondered what they were doing anyway, plopping flowers here and there; making people late for work. Looking down, she was struck. The flowers she could now see read a message, and it was for her. The mosaic was beautiful, and she now knew who the strange somebody she had seen must be. Today, she would need to call in sick to the clinic.
And so the butterfly raced to find her friend. Gracefully twisting and turning, she passed by other butterflies heading to work, asking whether they had seen any moths fly by. Some looked at her with shock, and others in boredom. They were all very unhelpful.
Finally, after checking all of the most beautiful spots she could think to go, the butterfly found the Day Moth sitting on a leaf, watching the light reflect over a pond. “Hey, you!” She said exasperatedly, “You are a hard one to find!”
The Day Moth, caught off guard, fell from his leaf. As he righted himself in the air he yelled back, “It's you.” And then, “What are you doing here?” He asked.
The butterfly explained how she had spent all of her day trying to find the Day Moth.
“Camille,” She said her name was, being a straight-forward sort, asked if the Day Moth would like to fly with her today, as she knew some particularly nice spots and perhaps he would like them too. Together, they fluttered off side-by-side for the day.
It became commonplace for the Day Moth to accompany Camille on her way to work in the morning. Every once in a while, Camille would even skip work altogether; only after finding someone to cover her shifts, of course, and spend all day flying here and there.
Sometimes, Camille could tell that the Day Moth felt less beautiful than her. He was not a butterfly himself after all. When the Day Moth felt this way, she would comfort him because to her he was just as beautiful as any butterfly could ever be. And when he would fly into a flower or land clumsily on a leaf, because he didn't have the same acrobatic training, Camille would mend his wing or care for his bruised foot, and they would continue on.
One day Camille and the Day Moth came across the opening of a dark cave. The Day Moth offered that they might go back to the lake they had just come from. “We could spend the rest of our day hopping from one water lily to the next.” The Day Moth said. But Camille, brave and adventurous as she was, wanted to see what was inside the cave. And so the Day Moth, as he knew he would anywhere, followed her through the mouth of the cave and into the dark.
As they flew deeper into the darkness, a scraping sound made it apparent that the two were not alone.
“Who goes there?” The bat yawned lazily. “Is it Summer already? I was asleep, but now I think I'll have some lunch.” The Day Moth, frightened, heard Camille whisper in his ear, “stay close behind me, and I promise we will get out together.” Quickly, Camille zipped and looped, the Day Moth beside her, toward the entrance to the cave and their escape.
But the bat, after sleeping for so long, was not looking to let his meal leave so easily. Luckily, Camille’s swoops and swirls were that of a well-practiced acrobat - having taken advanced lessons in school - making getting caught that much more difficult. The Day Moth followed her every move, trying with all his might to keep up, except for the one Camille took to look behind them for the bat. As she slowed for only a moment, and the Day Moth – not as agile - passed her by. The bat lunged, biting and clawing before turning away from the light.
Flying as fast as he could, the Day Moth landed on a nearby leaf sitting brightly in the sun. He turned to see Camille land ungracefully beside him. She was missing a wing.
The Day Moth helped Camille, hurt and in pain, fly ever so slowly to the clinic. Together, they wobbled and weaved as ungracefully as any one flying could possibly be. Camille was embarrassed and scared. The Day Moth, afraid for her, stayed close, with a smile every time he thought she was glancing his way.
After waiting at the clinic for Camille, a doctor finally came out to tell him that she would be all right. “She's lost one of her wings,” The doctor said, off-hand. “A shame. It was such a beautiful wing... she might not fly as gracefully as she once did.”
The Day Moth did not care how well Camille might or might not fly, but only that she was fine.
And so Camille was okay, with one wing lost from that day.
Camille worried that the Day Moth might not like her as much now that she could not fly the way she once did. She thought she was not beautiful anymore, so she took up all of her time with work, making excuses and not letting the Day Moth see her for days.
The Day Moth, still very certain of his love for Camille, made for her a mosaic, sometimes of flowers but other times of leaves or pebbles, every day they were apart. He left one for her to find at each of their favorite places until finally, overwhelmed by what the Day Moth did, Camille went to see him.
The Day Moth was sitting by the pond where they had first officially met. Excited, the Day Moth jumped off the leaf and into the air to meet Camille. The two caught each other in mid-air and, spiraling down slowly, came to land on the very same leaf.
“I'm sorry for the way I have been acting.” Camille apologized. “I thought you might not want to fly with me any longer.”
“You will always be beautiful to me.” Said the Day Moth.
And they agreed to never be apart again.
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