A Fisherman’s Butterfly

I will not ask the fisherman further why he thought to do what he did. He did what he did, gave a reason for what he did, and that was it. It is all that matters.

It began like this one day on a crisp and clear morning like any other. The fisherman was on his way back to shore when he spotted a butterfly beside the boat.

“A butterfly out in the sea?!” He raised his voice excitedly. I shook my head in disbelief.

“When a butterfly keeps pace with you, you know that good things will come to you.” He added.

“What did you do next?” I probed.

“Not sure if the butterfly was going to follow the boat all the way so I simply kept my heading.” He explained. “Unfortunately, that meant knocking over a sea buoy right in front.”

“That’s intense” I remarked.

He straightened up on his chair. “But still he followed!”

***

On the second morning, the fisherman saw the butterfly again on his return trip back to land. Enthralled, he kept his heading.

“You were on collision course with another fishing vessel, you know that.” I pointed out.  

“Yes, and I had to give way, go behind it; rules of the sea. But I knew he would, if I don’t.” he replied smugly.

“The fishing vessel made a sharp steer in order to avoid collision. Capsized. Five dead. You did not stop to rescue them.”

“Well, didn’t want to stop the boat and disrupt our momentum.”

“And why?”

“Well, when a butterfly keeps pace with you, you know that good things will come to you.” He explained.

***

On the third morning, the fisherman smiled at the visiting butterfly. He had prepared a cup of freshly brewed coffee for it. He was sure that the butterfly smiled back at him for a moment and fluttered its wings in appreciation. Again he kept his heading.

“A man and his grandchild were on the shore waiting for the sunrise. You knew they were there.” I nodded slowly.

“Yes, it was a pity, wasn’t it?” He seemed to look distressed for a moment.

“You ran it ashore. Drove right into them.”

“Yes I did. Had to keep my heading, remember?”

“Because?”

“Because when a butterfly keeps pace with you, you know that good things will come to you.” He smiled.

“You have no idea; the gravity of your actions” I shook my head.

“You have no idea; the beauty of a butterfly’s wings fluttering against the golden rays of dawn.” He shook his head.

A few moments passed like this.

“You are crazy.” I broke the silence.

“Not as crazy as those who don’t follow their beliefs” He winked.

“Sir, your time is up.” A burly voice issued from behind.

I stood up and placed the handset back in the holder.

The fisherman placed his palm against the glass partition between us.

“Remember what I said” he mouthed. “When a butterfly keeps pace with you…”

“Good things will come to you” I continued.

He smiled from ear to ear.

You might wonder why I placed the handset back in the holder abruptly without completing the conversation with him in proper. But as I mentioned at the start, I will not ask the fisherman further why he thought to do what he did. He did what he did, gave a reason for what he did, and that was it. It is all that matters.

In his mind, he has justified himself.

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