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One day I saw a beautiful butterfly (Common Grass Yellow aka Eurema hecabe) alight on the euphorbia plant. Surprisingly it let me take picture after picture. That’s strange, I thought to myself after a few clicks. I don’t remember these kind of butterflies staying put in one place for this long. So I stopped being the paparazzi and took a proper look at the butterfly.

It was moving. Ahh, maybe it just wanted to rest a bit longer. Nothing strange in that. We all feel tired at times. But then I realized something odd about its movements. It appeared to be struggling, trying to lift itself, but failing and falling back. Obviously it had settled right into the trap laid by its nemesis, the spider and was now caught in the sticky web.

I was now in a dilemma. Should I try to free the butterfly? But then what about the spider, wouldn’t it go hungry?

My first instinct was to extricate the butterfly. But by doing so I would negate the spider’s painstaking efforts. It had woven the web to catch its dinner. What right did I have to deny it its food? None. This was nature’s course and I had no business interfering however sad I might feel for the pretty butterfly. So I left things as they were and moved on, albeit with a heavy heart.

© Shail Mohan 2021