Blue Butterfly

The Search

One day a young man was strolling through the public market with his father. They became hungry and decided to have lunch at one of the food serving places and because it was very busy they ended up sitting at a table with two traveling merchants. The merchants had just come from a distant country and they told the young man and his father about a remarkable woman they had met there. They said that she was the most beautiful woman that they had ever seen. They also said since then that they have never met another woman as beautiful as her. The father chuckled and said, “Gentlemen, then you haven’t met my wife.” His son also chuckled and gave his father a knowing smile.

The young man looking at his father said, “I too, would like to see and meet this woman, I’ve decided to go in search of her.” The father smiled and said to his son, “This distant country is a long way from here, it will be a long and dangerous journey. Are you sure you want to go in search of this woman?” “Yes,” replied his son. The father knew that it was time for his son to leave home, he also knew the value of his son seeing the world at his age. The father then said, “I’m curious if her inner beauty is as great as her outer beauty?”

Back at home, his mother upon hearing of what was happening asked, “I’m curious to know if she is also a loving woman?” “How will I know?” asked the son. The mother smiled and responded, “You’ll know - for only love can know love.” “I will find out the answer to both of your questions,” replied their son.

The young man packed a light traveling bag and was about to leave on his journey. By now most of the town had heard about his planned adventure. Some laughed, joked, and ridiculed him. Other’s wished him good fortune. He hugged his parents and in their “Good-bye’s,” his father gave his son some parting advice, “Remember, to every problem there is a solution.” As the mother and father watched their son leave the mother turned to her husband and said, “Like father, like son. Do you remember the day you came for me? ” “Absolutely!” he said as he gave her a warm loving embrace.

The young man headed out on his journey and for the most part things went well. The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months. He then ran out of money and food. He became very hungry and sad. He saw and met a lot of other people that were just as hungry and sad as he was. He thought about quitting and going back home. Then he thought about what his father had told him, “To every problem there is a solution.” His problem, no money. How can I earn money and travel at the same time. The best solution he could think of would be to tell stories and sing songs in the town market he was passing through.

The young man sat down and on a piece of paper wrote his first story. When it was ready he went to the nearest town and read it aloud in the public market. The people gathered. Some, upon hearing him recite the story they laughed and walked away. But some stayed and upon completing the story came up to him and said that they liked it and put a few coins in his hat. The young man having earned some money, once again commenced on his journey. The days and months passed. The young man wrote many stories and songs. Upon the telling of each story or the singing of each song he improved. In time great multitudes of people gathered around to hear him. The money he earned was more than enough to pay for his traveling expenses so he gave most of it to those who were in need of it. No one went hungry in his presence.

In time he reached the foreign country and the city where the most beautiful woman lived. He approached a large castle and noticed a line-up of men at the front gate. He approached the gate and was told in order to be granted a one hour visit with the most beautiful woman in the world he would have to give riches. The young man was not a rich man and had no material wealth to offer. The guards at the gate told him to go away.

At first the young man was very sad, he had traveled a long way to meet this woman. He was about to leave in discouragement when he remembered the advice his father had given him, “To every problem there is a solution.” He went back to the gate and standing on a large stone fence he began to tell his stories and sing his songs. In time a multitude of people gathered around. Each time he finished the multitude of people loudly applauded. The beautiful woman in the castle heard the applause and asked her servant to seek its source. The servant reported that there was a young man telling wonderful stories and singing just outside the castle gate. The beautiful woman asked the guards to allow the young man to come before her.

There before her stood the young man. She asked him to sing for her and tell her his stories. The young man graciously did so. The beautiful woman loved them and said that she too wrote stories and songs. The young man said that he would also like to hear her stories and songs. The beautiful woman had never shared her stories or songs with anyone else. Nobody before the young man had ever asked her too. She sang and told her stories and everyone in the room was awe-struck. They had never looked beyond this woman’s outer beauty and seen the inner beauty within her.

The young man said it was time to go. He had been away from home a very long time and did not want his family to worry. He told the beautiful woman that he had found out two of the three things that he had come to find out about her. The beautiful woman asked, “And what were these three things?” The young man replied, “First, there is no doubt in my mind that you are one of the most beautiful women in the world. Second, to my delight, I have found that your inner beauty surpasses your outer beauty.” There was silence for a moment, and the beautiful woman asked thoughtfully, “And what is the third thing you came to find out about me?” The young man looking at her and with tears in his eyes, said, “To find out if you are a loving woman.” She smiled and said, “Well am I?” There was total silence in the room as everyone in it strained to hear the young man’s response. He simply said, “You are!” She asked in surprise to his response, “How do you know!” “Only love...can know love,” said the young man. He turned to leave. She said, “Wait, I have a request to ask of you.” The man stopped, turned to her and said, “Yes...” The woman approached him and looking into his eyes asked, “May I go with you?” “Yes,” replied the man smiling. The woman turned to her head guard, he had been like a father to her, she gave him a big hug and said, “Thank you for all that you have done and taught me.” Before she had met him, she'd been living out on the street. She then left the room and in a few minutes re-appeared carrying a light travelling bag.

To the astonishment of the people present in the castle that day, except for the old head guard, she left with the young man that had traveled so far to meet her. To this day many of them could not understand why she had, for she had it all, the finest of everything.

            Timothy E. Stevenson   1995©


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