Feather: Day 16 of 30 Day Challenge
-It’s a poetry thing-
Said the Phoenix to the Caterpillar, “But why won’t you do it?”
“it just sounds so abominably uncomfortable, you see,” said the Caterpillar to the Phoenix.
“Oh, it is, it is, I hear — raging pain, I hear, for one’s better and benefit.
But ‘neath it all, one must have the satisfaction of how miraculous it is, it is.”
“I fear, my feathered, dulcet friend, we don’t see eye to eye — I simply cannot, shall not see,
How metamorphosis could be so brilliant — I don’t much mind being me.”
Said the Phoenix to the Caterpillar, “Perhaps I shall set your mind at ease if I tell you how it goes!
Firstly sir, you build yourself a fine, conglomerated nest of birch or elm or willows,
With violet buds or heads of grain — oh you see — but then you sit enthroned within the center,
And embrace the blaze that shall renew you, invite the heat that shall consume you: to your wingtips; to your feathers.”
“Heavens!” cried the Caterpillar to the Phoenix. “I can’t withstand the flame!
I simply shan’t — it’s terrible! — this transformation gig’s a shame!
I am aghast a noble creature like yourself should ever seek destruction such as that in search of change!”
Said the Phoenix, “Have you ever wanted to be something captivating, beautiful, and strange?”
“Sir, I see no reason for it,” said the Caterpillar, “And truth be told, you’re a seraphim already.
Your crimson head and fiery feathers, your black pool eyes so steady.”
Said the Phoenix, “I am ashamed to say that I am only a Phoenix by my name, for I am just a cardinal who longs to be a legend.
But if it works for one bird — well I hardly think there’s too much difference in the end.”
“Well sir, my dear sir,” said the Caterpillar gravely, “Hear my words — I suppose I’ll have a go.
Your bravery inspires me, and if it works for you, I’ll follow suit; wretched, horrifying pain or no.”
Said the Caterpillar to the fated Bird.
Rugged brush and tinder light they pile for a pyre.
Dandelions, sweet young grass, and daisies for the fire.
At dusk in amaranth twilight, the Caterpillar lit the blaze and called out to the Bird:
“Is it working — do you feel the change? Oh Metamorph, give me a word!”
But anything he may have warned was swallowed by the flicker, burst, and roar.
Consuming, starving fire raged that summer night and to the sky it soared.
The Caterpillar cowered.
And when the flames had dulled to ash, he searched for days both there and thither.
But all he found was ashes, ashes, dust, and tattered, singed feathers.
“Oh dear,” he cried, “That’s final — the world has lied to us. Hear me Phoenix, sacrificed friend — I’ll never change a bit.
They say I could have wings one day if I would die, but I won’t believe it.”
The Caterpillar crept away and settled down in a respectable leaf.
He never changed, and never, to my knowledge, caused a body happiness nor grief.
Thus goes the story of the Caterpillar and the Bird named Phoenix — as far as I know, it’s true.
Hopefully, it isn’t true of you.
I feel like I hovered dangerously close to Dr. Suess with this one. But then again, one of my all time favorite books is Fox in Socks, so I don’t know why I’m complaining.
I had the verse stuck in my head all day yesterday about comparing ourselves. Let’s see if I can find it:
… they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. — 2 Corinthians 10:12
Transformation is as natural to some creatures as remaining in our created state is natural to others. We compare ourselves by standards not set up for our abilities and natural tendencies, and we set ourselves up for ultimate failure. As Albert Einstein said, “If we judge a fish based on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Asking a caterpillar to become a butterfly is wholly natural; asking a bird to try a similar metamorphosis is not only impossible, but will be the death of it in the process.
But I hate trying to make points. I like people to be able to glean things for themselves. So think for yourself and make your own conclusions. I’m just going to go back to writing poetry.
Recommend and comment below if you have something to add, or just because I asked you to and it would be the nice thing to do. Unless of course, you hated it and want to tell me how wrong I am. Then just comment.