Yesterday Belle convinced a butterfly to land on her finger.
Never-you-mind that I had told her a hundred times that butterflies are scared of people and will try to get away. Especially from little girls who run shrieking after them.
She did it. It sat on her finger while she walked all the way across the yard hollering for everyone to come see her and the butterfly "who is getting used to me! I think he really likes me!"
Sure enough, there he was, perched prettily on her little index finger as though she were Princess Aurora.
I'm no butterfly expert, but it seems like all their legs should have the same amount of stickiness.
Then she turned so I could see the back of it.
"Honey, is this the butterfly you caught before in the net?"
"Yup!" she answered positively beaming.
"The one whose leg got pulled off?"
"Yup! But he's perfectly fine! I knocked a chunk of his wing off too, but he can fly perfectly! And he loves me!"
And I couldn't. I just couldn't sit by and let this continue to be so cute.
Because what she had called the "sticky back legs" was really butterfly guts that had oozed out of the missing leg socket, glueing the poor creatures rump to her outstretched finger.
To my credit, I didn't actually say "Ew." Although I won't rule out the fact that she might have seen it written clearly on my face.
I tried to explain what was going on and suggested she might want to go put the poor amputee on a soft piece of grass and come wipe the bug guts off her finger.
Belle's deep love of the butterfly faltered slightly while she tried to get the ridiculously sticky innards off of her skin. But then she tracked the little guy down again and tearfully chased it across the yard yelling her goodbyes and declaring her love until the insect hobbled - or whatever the airborne form of hobbling is- out into the forest. Probably to die.
Wait, is a butterfly an insect? Hold please...googling... Well, yes. But funnily enough, things are insects partially because they have six legs. So, I guess his insect status is now a little iffy.
Good thing he has Belle's undying love as wind beneath his now injured wings.