Disclaimer：I cannot guarantee the complete accuracy of this translation
The Spider and the Butterfly
A story from long long ago, before even the time the sun was called the sun…
There was once a young spider patching its broken web.
The net that sprung out across the olive branches shone brilliantly in the light of dawn, even the spider itself was at a loss for words at the sight of its own creation.
“No matter how talented one is, a masterpiece like this is a rarity.”
The night’s fatigue was simply forgotten, adjusting the center of the web, checking the points linked to branches, and in order to do the finishing touches; he had no choice but to suppress his urge to do a little dance. But then… Sliding across the sun’s horizon, a large dragonfly plowed through the middle of the net.
“Oops, sorry. I didn’t take notice of it since yesterday there wasn’t anything here. So please forgive me for mercy’s sake.”
Without even stopping, the dragonfly had continued on its way.
The apology from afar had gradually reached the spider’s ears. The spider shook the olive branches in frustration, but having heard that this is a common occurrence from its mother; it gathered itself and began repairs on the web at once.
“They say dragonflies will only ever destroy a net once. But it’s my favorite prey and to not catch it… It’s so vexing that it almost borders on harassment.”
And so, the sun in the sky above began tilting west as the spider reached the last of its repairs. The spider, finally succumbing to its lack of sleep, had accidentally stepped into the gaps within the web countless times as it headed towards the trunk of the olive tree in order to reach its bed.
It was only a half step away from the tiny cavity that was its bed when a strong gust of wind blew in from the south with a roar akin to the sound of thunder. The net shook violently together with the branches and the spider became dangerously close to plummeting to the ground. Nevertheless, the spider endured and somehow managed to quickly flee to the backside of the trunk. And so it curls up and shuts its eyes, defending itself from the cloud of dust blown up by the whirlwind.
The whirlwind has passed, but at the thought of seeing a broken web, the act of opening its eyes became tiresome.
“I guess I’ll sleep here for now.”
The spider was both resentful and disgruntled by what the day had to offer.
But mending a broken web was simply what it does, a nature decided by its species.
And so the spider’s legs naturally headed themselves towards the net.
“Oh what a thing. Oh, what a splendid thing I have made.”
The web, after withstanding the strong winds, had retained the same appearance. However, that wasn’t the only thing that pleased the spider. Inside the net was a magnificent butterfly the same size as the spider, stuck there as though it was a specimen.
Despite the tattered state of the butterfly’s wings, the beautiful azure was clear and brilliant like the water’s surface.
The spider couldn’t help but be overjoyed at a month’s worth of food flying in. Flickering its eyes, seeing the scenery from the other side, the spider grew restless. The situation is more lively than a fly washing its face. But then, the spider thought of such an appearance and became embarrassed, his cheeks blushed, his brows tensed, and was ready to spit out thread.
“Thank you for saving me. Yes, in truth I know I’ve not been saved, for I fully understand what is soon to become of me.”
The immobile butterfly, in a thin voice, offered gratitude from the bottom of its heart.
“You see, I lived on an island far south of here, but due to a sudden wind storm, I was forced to fly for the past three days and nights. If it wasn’t for your net, my body would’ve been torn to shreds overnight. Being ripped apart within the vortex and dying in unbearable pain, as I think of that, I’m happy to have died quietly upon this beautiful web. Thank you, I am truly grateful.”
It did not listen to butterfly’s tale as a spider, but there remained no sympathy for its sad tale nor admiration for its quietness. After all, the prey would always lament its misfortune or pleads for its life. Though, it’s a bit regrettable that the butterfly’s soothing voice will no longer be audible.
“I guarantee I’ll make it easier for you. That is something I am confident in.”
“I don’t know how much I should thank you. It was truly painful being tossed around in those strong winds. However, my body has gone through a long and arduous journey, the fluids in my body have dried up and your favorite blood will be tasteless. Even though I wish to be of service, it’ll be regrettable if I sullen the look on my benefactor’s face. If by any chance you’re not unbearably hungry, could you feed me some honey for the while if it’s not too much trouble?”
The butterfly suggested that it’d like to be served in a recovered state. Although the spider was a tad doubtful, much of what was said was plausible, so as a precaution, it wrapped the butterfly’s six legs in its web and then proceeded to come down from the olive tree in search of honey. Whether it was becoming acquainted with the butterfly’s story, or whether it wished to continue to hear the butterfly’s voice; there was just a strange feeling to be without it.
When the spider reached the ground, it walked over on foot to a nearby ant colony.
At the entrance of the colony where common vetches grew, marched numerous defending ants carrying indicus thorns on their shoulders with discipline.
“You, that spider over that! If you step one step closer, I will crush that eyeball of yours with this spear!”
The spider realized that one of the ants pointed the tip of the thorn towards it, and said.
“No no, it’s something important. I have an important story to tell. Please make contact with your commanding officer immediately.”
A shouting ant instructed for vigilance from those around it, and to quietly retreat into the back-lines.
“You say you have something important. I am the commanding officer. I’m busy, so state it quick.”
Bowing down in front of the dozen or so guards brought along by the commanding officer, it had begun to speak.
The spider described the butterfly’s speech as briefly as possible.
“Is it possible for the ant colony to divide me some of its sweet nectar? And no, I’m not merely saying it. I am satisfied with just its torso, I don’t need those powdery wings or rather it’s quite difficult to dispose of, to begin with. Once the butterfly becomes my nutrition, I’ll give those wings to you.”
“You bastard, did you think we’d hand over essential nectar in exchange for some wings that have little nutrition?”
Said the commanding officer, as it orders the guards to ready their spears.
“No no, that is not so. I have heard within your stronghold during the drought last year, that the crucial eggs and pupa decayed. With such temperatures, you must’ve not been able to obtain water in time. If you fan the air with these wings, you’ll be able to evaporate water. After all, the butterfly’s wings are the tools that allow it to dance freely across the sky. It’s incomparable to the wind produced by fallen leaves.”
The spider gave this bulky statement over to the commanding officer, and although it would’ve been easy to have killed and eaten them had it not been for their large numbers, it doesn’t show in its expression.
“There’s certainly truth in what you’ve said. Go ahead. Take as much as you need. However, be sure to carry this. It is the sign of passage.”
And the commanding officer handed over its spear to the spider.
March and common vetches were carved at the base of the spear, and next to them was a pressed mark that reads “Be Diligent”.
The spider thought that it was a bit funny, but gratefully accepted it and entered into the colony.
To be Continued…