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Innocence

A tremble, a quiver, a jolt! Faster and more frequently the strikes occur. What is this strange struggle that brings such a deep fascination into the ocean colored eyes of this tiny being? Could life truly be encased in this gray prison? A tilted head and inquisitive look towards this intriguing sight lets all who surround know that questions are buzzing in this young mind, like bees in a hive. Gears move and light bulbs flicker in the child’s brain. It seems that the dark structure bounces with the same excitement she feels. It teeters back and forth on its branch, as she does on her toes; she is just as eager for the secret to unmask itself as the secret is to be unmasked. Nearly invisible fuzzy branches begin to sprout from the prison, and it jumps with more excitement, just as the innocent child does. Slowly, ever so slowly, more of the puzzle emerges from its box. The little girl eats every new discovery up, like the flower piece of a birthday cake, until finally it is free! Screaming with color the magnificent creature leaves its former jail behind. As the beautiful butterfly spreads its vibrant wings for the first time, the girl’s face lights up, her jaw drops; her eyes widen, and wave of understanding washes over her. It’s as if this marvelous creature has decided to finally share its secret with her. The innocent child discovers more than just the secret though, she discovers a new best friend.
“I will call it Rainbow,” she says decidedly to her mother as she sits for what seems like forever staring at her new companion as if it is her sole mate. Her eyes just as wide and blue as before, but in place of the curiosity that once filled them is a deep love that only a child can achieve.
Her mother looks distraught, knowing that once a child has named her new pet there is no separating them and that it will not end well, but her thoughts are quickly interrupted by her daughters begging.
“Won’t you let it come out and play, Mom?”
“You don’t want to hurt the poor creature do you? Butterflies are very weak.” Her mother replies.
A baby-like pout and slanted eyebrows let her mother know that she would never think of harming her new best friend. From that moment on the tiny girl decides that she will keep her new friend out of harm’s way. Feeding the butterfly its leaves, like her mother told her, she makes sure it gets plenty of sunlight, and has long conversations with it about all the important things going on in the world, like how Ninja Turtles are far better than My Little Pony, how if she was a Power Ranger she would definitely be the blue one. She even tells rainbow about how Eric and Masha are going to get married under the monkey bars tomorrow at recess. She decides that the butterfly is much more fun to talk to than her action figures because it actually moves, much more fun to talk to than her friends because she never has to share her lunch with it, and much more fun than her parents because it doesn’t tell her to go clean her room all the time. Day by day she bonds with the butterfly loving it more with each passing moment.
On the sixth day of their friendship the tiny being awakes to find that her friend is not moving, not even a tiny bit. Thud, thud, she knocks on the glass to get its attention but there is still no response. Confused, she decides to go ask her mother why her friend is angry with her.
“The butterfly won’t move,” she says with just a hint of a whine in her tiny voice. Her mother gives a solemn look to her daughter and then tries to explain the grim events that have just occurred.
“Honey” she says, clearly searching for the words that would explain to such an innocent creature that her friend was gone forever. “Butterfly is gone and he isn’t coming back.”

Clearly puzzled her head tilts, an inquisitive expression creeps across her face and she questions her mother’s words.
“What do you mean he is gone? I can see him he is right there.”
The next words that her mother uttered clearly pained her.
“Well, I mean he is dead sweetheart like the dog in Old Yeller”
At these words waves begin to pour from her ocean colored eyes. The tears roll down her rosy red cheeks and her tiny nose, down her smooth angel-like skin, and onto the cold, hard, gray ground below her. Her best friend is gone and there is nothing she can do to stop it. For a while she sits next to her friend, and cries, as her mother looks on. Suddenly, she stops, and accepts what has happened, but her mother notices that for some reason her cheeks seem less rosy, her skin less soft, and even her eyes less blue, but more gray.



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