Weblog of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum
This is the last of a three part narrative by Emile Joseph, who describes it as a story which “contains principles in today’s gratuitous age, where instant self-gratification, inane social isolation through ‘social’ media, and the avoidance of hard work reign supreme.” Contributions of fiction, news and opinion to SydneyTrads are welcome, and should be directed to the Editors. Fiction, when available for publication, will ordinarily be published on Sunday mornings.
Vanessa smiled as she patted Joe reassuringly on the head.
“Dear Joseph, I assure you, have no fear,
Georgina has not fled from you at all.
Nor has she quitted class because of you.
Here, let me show you where she may be found.
Remember , she was quite advanced in class,
A little more advanced in fact than most.”
“Was?” questioned Joe anxiously. “Is she dead?”
Vanessa quietly led Joe to a tree, from whose lowest branch was hanging a cocoon. She told Joe that Georgina was inside.
Joe broke down in tears.
“Be not distressed for her, my little friend!
For she will soon become a butterfly.
She has responded to her Calling, dear.
Is that not lovely?….”
“Mistress Mariposa,” interrupted Joe, “I don’t care how much it hurts. I don’t care how much I need to study, because I will really put the work in, if it isn’t too late. I want to do really well, and I want to answer my Calling and build my cocoon. I want to be a butterfly too, just like my beloved Georgina. Is it too late?”
“‘Tis not too late, and never shall it be.
It would have been too late if you had stayed
With all those useless creatures on the Web.
It would have been too late if you had not
Enrolled to study and been keen to learn.
You nearly missed your Calling, do you know?”
“Yes, I know. If it was not for you and Georgina…”
“Yes, if it weren’t for young Georgina’s love,
You would be lost today. For she it was
Who loved you, brought us all to rescue you.
I thought that you were conscious of that fact.”
“No,” smiled Joe, “I wasn’t. Oh Georgina! You are so sweet! I love you! I will do anything to follow your good example!”
“Young Joseph, you will soon fulfill your Calling!”
And Vanessa was right. A couple of weeks later, Joe was indeed ready to answer his calling. He was a week later than his fellow students, but not too late. With Vanessa’s help, he built his own cocoon and wrapped himself inside it. There he stayed, lonely and in pain for what seemed like an eternity. Eventually, it came time for him to leave the cocoon. He started boring his way through, trying to squeeze through the minute opening, gathering as much strength as he could. To help him gather more strength, he thought of Georgina, who was probably a beautiful butterfly by now. Then a wave of sadness overwhelmed him. What was the use of coming out now? Georgina would have gone far away by now, and started her work of spreading pollen and meeting other beautiful butterflies.
He was feeling despondent now, halfway inside and halfway outside the cocoon. But he thought, “I cannot stay like this for all my life! I have to get outside and try at least! I have to try and find her very fast!”
With that, he pushed as hard as his little body allowed him until he was completely out. He fell to the ground below, exhausted, sad and defeated. Why could he not fly? Was he not a butterfly yet? What if it did not work? What if it were all a cruel joke? Or perhaps it was supposed to work, but he had done it all wrong. Had he failed?
“Joe, welcome to your new, exciting life!
For you are now a butterfly like me!”
That sweet voice was familiar. He looked up, and there he saw the most magnificent creature. She had a slender body, beautiful violet and red coloured wings, and deep, dark eyes brimming with tenderness. They were the eyes of someone whom he knew and loved. They were the eyes of Georgina.
“Georgina, is it really you I see?”
“I came to wait for you, most certainly!”
“Georgina, oh you did not need to wait!
You did not have to wait around for me!”
“I wanted to, I wonder if you see
I always had the utmost faith in you.
I knew that you would see the light one day.
Our teacher told me how you really tried
To do your work, to study, to prepare
For your true Calling as a butterfly.
Now come with me, we have a lot to do.”
“Oh tell me, please, now is it really true?
Am I a butterfly, am I like you?”
“You are indeed, dear Joe, I thought you knew.
You are a handsome butterfly indeed!”
“I know full well that if I did not heed
Your words of wisdom, I would not have been
This handsome butterfly that you now see.
Georgina dear, I know that it is you
Who made me what I am, I give you thanks.
Without your aid, I could have become
This Joe Papilio before you now.
I am a butterfly because of you.
I love you, dear Georgina, I love you.”
“Dear Joe Papilio, I love you too.
Now come with me, we have a lot to do.
Come, let us share our stories on the way!”
“I promise to be with you every day!”
And so Joe Papilio and Georgina lived happily ever after, and had many little caterpillars. They made sure that their children knew everything that they needed to know about their Calling.
– Emile N Joseph
The author teaches the English language to adult migrants and is passionate about all things linguistic. He is also a serious conservative at heart, who treasures the beauty, the poetry and the gallantry of yesteryear. He is happily married with two young children in Sydney.