KEEPING

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KEEPING

On a balmy summer day, the butterfly was fluttering from flower to flower and was letting herself be caressed by the afternoon sun. The butterfly was busy not being too busy, when suddenly a shadow glided over her. The butterfly looked up and saw the most beautiful flying creature she had ever seen.
Look, thought the butterfly, the blackbird is simply black, the sparrow grey, but this bird is … exuberant!
Yes, thought the butterfly, who did not exactly know what exuberant was, but still thought: yeah, that much is sure. (17)
The exuberant bird settled on the middle branch of the beech and looked around inquisitively.
“Hi”, said the butterfly, fluttering closer.
“Hi”, said the cockatoo, because that’s who it was. “Where did I end up?”
“In the animal forest”, said the butterfly. “On the middle branch of the beech.”
“I’ll bear that in mind”, said the cockatoo. “I always keep in mind everything of my holidays.”
“Oh”, said the butterfly, who had no idea what holidays were.
There was silence for a while, apart from the rustling of some leaves that were moved by the soft summer breeze.
“Are they nice keepings?”, asked the butterfly.
“Yes”, said the cockatoo. “I keep them gladly, and with love.”
“Love”, sighed the butterfly. “Summer love. That sounds wonderful.”
“For sure”, said the cockatoo. “Summer loves are wonderful.”
For a moment, they both were lost in thought again.
“But”, said the cockatoo, a little sad, “they blow over.”
The cockatoo shifted a bit on the branch, the middle branch of the beech. The butterfly wasn’t sure if that was only to avoid the radiation of the sun.
“You know,” said the cockatoo, “actually, I am looking for real love, a love without restrictions.”
“Oh”, said the butterfly, who was not sure if she should look at the cockatoo or also shift a bit.
“A love”, said the cockatoo, “that you don’t need to keep, because it’s just always there.”
“Yes,” said the butterfly, “a love like that!” and met the cockatoo’s eyes.
The sun was shining on the butterfly and the cockatoo on the middle branch of the beech one afternoon in the summer forest.
Sometimes, thought the giraffe, who watched it happen, sometimes life is simple, beautiful.

(17) that much is sure
This expression is a nod to the Dutch pocketbook: Zoveel was zeker (That much was sure), written by Toon Tellegen (2002, Amsterdam, Nederland: Singel Pockets), containing a selection of animals’ stories from his thick volume: Misschien wisten zij alles (Maybe they knew everything) (8th edition, 2001, Amsterdam, Nederland: Em. Querido’s Uitgeverij). Reading them and reading them aloud brought the fable as a genre back to my attention. Fables are a great way to pass on my own view, through the creation of the animals’ characters, on the human psyche and society.

You can continue reading other fables in my book that is published by BoekScout.
The book is bilingual: Dutch-English
You can read all information about the book and how to order it: here

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