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Beggar who sold cocoons

December 4, 2015

Along a dusty road in India there sat a beggar who sold cocoons. A young boy watched him day after day, and the beggar finally beckoned to him. “Do you know what beauty lies within this chrysalis? I will give you one so you might see for yourself. But you must be careful not to handle the cocoon until the butterfly comes out.”

The boy was enchanted with the gift and hurried home to await the butterfly. He laid the cocoon on the floor and became aware of a curious thing. The butterfly was beating its fragile wings against the hard wall of the chrysalis until it appeared it would surely perish, before it could break the unyielding prison.

Wanting only to help, the boy swiftly pried the cocoon open. Out flopped a wet, brown, ugly thing which quickly died. When the beggar discovered what had happened, he explained to the boy “In order for the butterfly’s wings to grow strong enough to support him, it is necessary that he beat them against the walls of his cocoon. Only by this struggle can his wings become beautiful and durable. When you denied him that struggle, you took away from him his only chance of survival.”

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