LITTLE BEAUTIES FLOATING IN THE AIR
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, I strawed in the green pastures to breathe the fresh air of the countryside. In that eerie silence, a battalion of little aerial beauties invade the pasture fluttering their jeweled wings in the warm air. The invasion is calm and peaceful with the absence of ear-splitting and triggering of gun shoots. My eyes are fortunate enough to view a natural phenomenon of such a great magnitude. I love nature because that is the only way to commune with divine realm.
Animal life is nature’s wonderful living family on earth, in air and the sea. Man, in all his genius, has never invented anything lovelier than a butterfly, or anything as wonderful as that. Butterflies are charming little creatures that flutter as aerial flowers.
The Lapidopterans have the following characteristics, namely:  they are diurnal that is they fly and feed by day. [ii] The antennae are thickened at the extremities, after the manner of little clubs. [iii] When at rest, the wings are raised over its back so that they are at an angle of 90 degrees to the body. [iv] They have membranous wings with scales adorned with patterns and variety of bright colours.
In its life cycle, a butterfly goes through a complete metamorphosis marked with three min stages of development, namely: [i] Larva-caterpillar [ii] pupa-chrysalis [iii] imago-adult.
[i] The eggs are laid in a host plant, the cradle of the larvae, or the cylindrical worm-like caterpillar. These frail tiny army –worm have four pairs of false legs or pro-legs, mandibles, claws and air tubes for breathing. The grub dies if these tubes are sealed. The span worm moults repeatedly. The entire skin has to be cast, a new and lustrous skin appears beneath that which is discarded as outgrown.
The activity of the caterpillars is gorging. They live to eat. The amount of food eaten is enormous. They devour foliage and do devastating damage to the cultivated food crops. They are a great menace and nuisance to farmers.
[ii] The caterpillar spins a wisp of silk around a golden-tomb-like husk, a cocoon to protect the chrysalis in which the caterpillar entrenches itself in pupating. The grub lies quite inert, helpless and motionless in this hibernating stage.
A marvelous and miraculous transformation takes place in the chrysalis. If you watch the horny case day after day, you will see a new wonder of nature coming into existence right before your naked eyes.
The caterpillar’s, mandibles, claws, pro-legs and the breathing system disappear by nature’s own dictation. The loathy and hideous grub takes the shape of a butterfly, the very one that delighted my eyes in the green pastures.
The head, antennae, proboscis, thorax, three pairs of legs, two pairs of wings, abdomen and spiracles appear miraculously upon the chrysalis.
At last, the ordained hour arrives and the resurrection comes. The tomb-like husk bursts open.
The sleeping princess is astir and emerging in all the mysterious fascination of beauty and wonder. A lovely and aerial princess, whose twin wings are adorned with bright colours of flowers and rainbow. There she dazzles before your unbelieving eyes, inviting you to embrace her with a lovely kiss.