Jack & Sally – #FlashFiction

The September 5, 2019, prompt from Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that shows true grit. You can use the phrase or embody the theme. Who or what has true grit? Go where the prompt leads you!

Respond by September 10, 2019.

Image captured by my daughter, Amy

After the hurricane, Jack, the monarch, fought the constraints of the chrysalis. He struggled, but his foot remained lodged within his birth home. Wings as delicate as tissue paper flashed in the afternoon sun, drying at an odd angle. Jack would never fly.

Sally, the monarch, emerged from the chrysalis drunk with victory. Weak, she staggered and fell to the ground where a fight ensued. She had to break free from the fluid she’d pumped out so her wings would dry. Now, deformed, Sally would never fly.

Despite their handicaps, the pair remain triumphantly alive – vibrant inside the lanai.

Image captured by my daughter, Amy

My daughter, Amy, is a butterfly farmer. At least that’s what I call her. She lives on Satellite Beach on the eastern coast of Florida. An avid gardener, she enjoys growing the plants that attract butterflies.

Jack and Sally must have sensed Hurricane Dorian’s approach. Amy said they went into chrysalis in a hurry before the storm hit. She was shocked to find the pair emerging after the hurricane passed.

Amy believes no life is more valuable than another. So, she cares for this pair as best she can. After she places them on the tender buds, they feed from the flowers. They even drink from a bowl filled with wet cotton balls.

If that’s not true grit, displaying the will to survive, I don’t know what is!

The lesson is… no matter what, spread your wings and fly even if you can’t get up from the ground!

54 thoughts on “Jack & Sally – #FlashFiction

      1. I’m sure they “know” in ways we will never understand. I didn’t see as many this year as I have in recent years around here. Of course the bees are disappearing too. There are plenty of flowers, so I’m not sure what the problem is.

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  1. Strength is not about the body and neither is true grit. A lovely story and a beautiful reminder. Thanks, Colleen!

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  2. That’s amazing they knew to do that to survive a storm. I’m so happy your daughter is caring for them since they can’t fly.

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  3. I enjoyed your story, Colleen. It’s interesting that the caterpillars pupated when the storm was coming and emerged after. I wonder if the storm disrupted their development in the chrysalis. It is good to see that Amy is caring for them and that they can still ‘enjoy’ (since I’m keen to anthropomorphise butterflies) life. That is grit.

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    1. I wondered the same thing, Norah. Days before the hurricane all the birds disappeared, I’m sure to safer land. Interesting how their senses alert them to the storm. Amy’s garden and butterfly gardens have transformed her. I’m very proud. ❤️

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      1. I think the animals are far more in tune with nature that we are. And we seem to be moving further away as we rely on technology to tune in. Sad. So happy about Amy and her garden. I love butterflies.

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