Cocoons and butterflies

A man found a cocoon. One day a small opening appeared; he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no further.

Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so 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 his life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings and was never able to fly.

In his kindness and haste the man did not understand that the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening of the cocoon was a 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.

(adapted from a story by Sandy)
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