Dreamt Things


All that gold, shimmering brightly!  The butterfly rushed to embrace it with all the arms he had.  Landing among the yellow petals, he basked in their glow.  Ah but the cold weather was drawing in and the butterfly feared for his tender, brilliant wings.

Looking down from the last flower in the garden, the butterfly saw a snail slide down the path.  So cosy she looked in that shell, never buffeted by the wind.  “You know,” the butterfly shouted down to her, “I could’ve accepted being a snail except… all your faces look the same!  Whereas every little swirl and dot of colour on my wings is unique.  Unique!”

The snail gazed up to see where the noise was coming from.  Noticing the butterfly clinging feebly to the dying petals, she twirled her left horn, thoughtfully, then her right.  “Hmm,” she murmured, to no one in particular, “poor creatures, those butterflies.  All that flitting must be exhausting.  And then the upkeep on those wings.”  She sighed.  “But I could live with all that, I suppose, if need be, except… they’re always dreaming that they’re philosophers!  Ah now that I couldn’t abide.”


This piece of flash fiction was written for Friday Fictioneers: a story in 100 words prompted by a picture that Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts every Wednesday.  Here’s the link to the stories and this week’s picture is at the top of this post, copyright Janet Webb. I seem to be out of practice with the 100-word limit since this story strays a good deal beyond it. Sorry, Rochelle.

8 thoughts on “Dreamt Things

  1. ..I’m with the snail – beauty rituals do not interest me (which is a good thing, as I’m sure partaking of preening would provide limited returns). Nicely done. 🙂

  2. Loved the characterization of the snail! After observing snails and slugs this autumn, I can completely see this interaction taking place. Those antenna are very expressive, you know. And slugs and snails are unique, if you look closely enough. Take THAT, butterfly! 😉

    Really though — the dialog here is great — and the pun makes a great ending. 🙂

    • Take that, indeed! 🙂

      I think there might be a Buson haiku that made me focus on the snail’s horns as being expressive of thought.. Meanwhile the butterfly seems to have been following the recent Issa posts at Old Pond 😛

      • Oh dear — I must have missed the butterfly at Old Pond! Well — will try to catch up tonight. You may be right about Buson though. If not Buson, then definitely Issa. 🙂

        I remember sitting earlier this year, watching slugs and their little antenna, just totally absorbed in their movements. You don’t think of snails as graceful (or slugs either) — but they really are.

      • Oh no, the Issa haiku about snails all having the same face was at Old Pond – thought maybe that’s where the butterfly got the idea. I know I did 😉

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