Zhuangzi's Butterfly

(posted Monday, February 25, 2008)

A single willow tree stood at the edge of the glistening field, shielding a man huddled with a heavy blanket.

As I flitted across the field that shimmered with dewdrops, I saw his eyes, wistfully watching the horizon. I landed on the hand clutching his rifle, stretching my wings to catch the morning sun. His lower face was covered with a black scarf but I could see the smile in his eyes while the gold and crimson reflections danced.

"Little butterfly..." he asked, "Do you know how free you are?"

"Captain?"

I jerked upright with a start. "Dui, Lieutenant?"

Strela dropped some papers on my desk. "I need your signature on these requisition forms. In quintuplicate."

"Ah, and what are we requisitioning today?"

"More requisition forms, Captain."

"Ah, of course."

As I scribbled across the papers, I mused aloud. "Anna... are we the dreamers or the dreams?"

"... sir?"

I handed the forms back. "Nothing, Lieutenant."

A small glint of gold and crimson at the window caught my eye.

I smiled.