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The butterfly
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An inspirational story about life and suffering to make us think and understand.

Especially dedicated to parents and teachers.

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.  One day a small opening appeared.  He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.  Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.  So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.  But it had a swollen body and small shriveled wings.  The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened!  In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.  We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly.

I asked for Strength .....And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom  ....And God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity ..And God gave me brain and brawn to work.
I asked for Courage .....And God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love ...........And God gave me Troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors ........And God gave me Opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted ..... I received everything I needed!

Trust in God always.

COCOON= /kəku:n/ A protective case made of silk in which caterpillars change into a butterfly. (see picture)

STRUGGLED= To struggle is to fight or to make a big effort.

GOTTEN= past participle of to get (BrE: get-got-got, AmE: get-got-gotten)

FURTHER= Comparative form of “far” (also: farther)

SNIPPED OFF= Clipped off. To snip off is to cut little bits out of something.

SWOLLEN= Bigger than it should, probably because it’s full of liquids or gas.

SHRIVELED= shrunken, smaller than it should, usually because it’s too dry.
When a word ending in just one (stressed) vowel followed by just one consonant adds an ending beginning with a vowel, we double the final consonant (big-bigger, ban-banning), but in BrE the final consonant is always doubled if it is an L, so this word is spelled SHRIVELLED in BrE (also travel-traveller, shovel-shovelling, etc).

CRAWLING AROUND= Moving from place to place using all its little legs.
For a person, to crawl is to move on your hands and feet, like an animal. Crawling is also the way insects walk, especially if they have many legs, but for bigger animals, for example a dog, we don’t say that they crawl, they simply walk like that.


HASTE= Rapidity, urgency, the desire for making things happen fast.

TINY= Very little.

FLIGHT= The act of flying.

CRIPPLE= Disable, damage.

STRENGTH= If you have strength, you are strong.

WISDOM= If you have wisdom, you are wise, you know a lot of things (especially about life).

PROSPERITY= If you have prosperity, you are prosperous, you are richer.

BRAWN= /brɔ:n/ Muscular strength and power; Solid and well-developed muscles, especially of the arms and legs.

COURAGE= /kʌrɪ/ If you have courage, you are courageous /kərəs/ , brave.

OVERCOME= If you overcome a difficulty, you surmount it, you are victorious.

TROUBLED= /trʌbəld/ With problems.

FAVORS= (BrE: favours).


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© Angel Castaño 2008 Salamanca / Poole - free videos to learn real English online || InfoPrivacyTerms of useContactAbout
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