Lappet Butterflies

 Xu Chi

At the foot of Mount Emei, around Fuhu Temple, there lives a species of butterfly--one of the rarest rarities of the mountain-that is probably even more beautiful than the most beautiful butterflies in the world.

With its wings closed it resembles a withered tree leaf hanging from a branch--scarcely noticeable to the human eye. Gathering its wings with exquisite patterns, it conceals its beautiful colors.

When it flutters out from a cluster of blooming flowers and alights somewhere in the middle of its graceful flight, it turns into a dried leaf, not even of a withering yellow, but of a deathly grey.

t disguises its shape and colours in order to protect itself, but nevertheless it can't help ending up in being captured, not only because of its beauty, but more because of the withered quality of its appearance that covers up its beauty.

It is misled to believe that by so doing it can keep itself out of danger. On the contrary it makes itself more attractive, because there is another creature-man-that is cleverer than this butterfly. 'Ibis creature is extremely skilled in masquerading himself; no masquerading whatsoever can slide by under his nose.

Man captures it, makes a specimen of it and sells it in the market at increasingly high prices. What happens as a result is that there is hardly any of the butterflies to be found-the species is dying out.

The government has now decided to put a ban on its capture, but it's too late. The ban, instead, multiplies its price. The butterfly is on the verge of extinction.

Since we have got a pair of wings of beauty and truth, there is no reason to hide them. Why do you have to turn yourself into a withered-leaf-like butterfly as you are bound to be netted and sold at the market? Isn't it better to fly around freely on your flashing, colorful wings and keep up the line of your species though some of you have to meet their doom?

I want both sides of my wings to shine.

I hope everything in the world shows their true colors.

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