A Butterfly Moment

This evening, as we were eating dinner, a moth flew up to flutter against the sliding glass door next to our table.

C pointed it out first (”Look! A butterfly!”) but N was quick to spot it and take up the cry. Their momma decided to take this opportunity to try to explain the differences between moths and butterflies.

As she was talking, however, N started flapping his arms. “Flap, flap, flap. Butterfly!”

“Well, not quite. You see moths come out at night. They’re like butterflies, but not quite – “

“Flap, flap, flap, whee-eee-ee!. Flap, Flap, Flap”

I must admit that I was not a part of this discussion. C and I were alternating between watching them and the moth. They chatted for a fair number of minutes, with N flapping and his momma discussing Lepidoptera. I don’t remember everything that was said, but I do remember how the discussion ended, so let’s just pick it up there.

“Flap, flap, flap, whee-eee-ee. Butterfly!”

“Yes, they both fly, and moths do look like butterflies. In fact, they – “

“Flap, flap, flap – SNAP!” He brought his hands together with a clap as he yelled the word “SNAP!”

This stopped his momma cold. Indeed we all looked at him. He smiled back at us and said “Alligator.”

Ah yes. He was telling the traditional tale of the alligator and the butterfly. How could we not have known?

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