02 August 2010

The Lesson of the Cocoon

While researching folktales for a creative writing project recently, I came across this story and found it especially touching, considering my love for and fascination with butterflies, as well as the fragile complexities of the human mind and spirit. I think it is quite thought-provoking, and a good reminder for us all.

 The Lesson of the Cocoon

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.

One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening was nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we went through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly.

-Source Unknown 

(image- Chelsea Victora Photography, available in her Etsy shop).


  1. Love this Kayla! Hope your writing is going well!

  2. Wow. That was exactly what I needed to read just now. Thank you.

  3. "We would not be as strong as what we could have been"-what an incredible sentiment. Absolutely beautiful.

  4. Colleen-thanks, it is!

    Elizabeth & La Petite Coquine: thank
    YOU and you're welcome :)


Your thoughts always bring a smile to my face. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave them.