The Metamorphosis Effect

butterfly with flag transgender isolated on white background

Getty Images/iStockphoto

butterfly with flag transgender isolated on white background

I stretch, and yawn, and rub my eyes, before opening them and seeing the sun shining over my father.
I try to pull my blanket back over myself, “but I’m still tiiiirrreeeeddd.”
My voice is always higher in the mornings, even more so since I came out of my cocoon, and I’m a butterfly now, but it always surprises me. I smile to myself, before glancing back to reality.
“-u need to go to the woods today,” my father rubs his forehead as he finishes speaking. “You weren’t listening, were you?”
“Haha- nope- I wasn’t-“ I try to chuckle it off, but he just responds with a disappointed sigh.
“I was saying, you need to go into the center of the woods today. Get up, get ready, we’ll get going in 30 minutes.”
I nod, and watch as my father walks out of my room, his wings shimmering as he does so.
I get out of my soft nest, made of sticks, “trash”, and soft things my family had found. I begin flapping my wings a few times as I sit up. I can’t help but smile, I came out of my cocoon a few days ago, but I still love looking at my wings just as much as when I first saw them.
I brush through my thin hair, and make sure my wings look amazing, before leaving my nest to meet up with my parents. I fly down from the ledge outside my nest, and after hovering in

the air for a moment or two, see my parents. I fly over to them, and we get going almost immediately.
After a bit of flying, including passing by some rabbits, our favorite looming trees, and a few calm streams, we get to the center of the woods, where all the animals are bustling and trading with each other.
A friendly looking sparrow hops over to us, “Hey Beatrice and Bread! Who’s this? Where’s your daughter? The little caterpillar?”
“Hey Snap, and this is our daughter. She’s a butterfly now,” my mother says, in response to our close family friend, and patting my back.
Snap shakes his head, “That’s not how things work. She’ll always be a caterpillar. Isn’t that right?” He turns to me, and they all wait for my response.
I look down at the ground, my wings and legs all feel weak, but I try to speak strong, “N-no, I’m a butterfly. I- I’m sure of it.”
My voice comes out extremely shaky, containing too much stuttering, and showing the outside world that something inside of me has snapped, but I assure myself I still sound confident. Even if I’m not even confident in myself anymore.
“No, I’m sure that’s just a costume. Anyways, you all can talk to me when this whole phase is over. Bye,” and with that, the sparrow flies off, shaking his head as he does so.
My parents turn to me, sighing gently, “We’re sorry kiddo. Some people just aren’t open to change.”
I look to the ground, “Some people are mean…”

My voice is still broken, but my parents didn’t worry about that. I feel their arms wrap around me, but after that we continue trading with our fellow forest creatures. We stop by to chat and trade with some chipmunks, rabbits, and insects, before heading home. We pass by the same looming trees, and running streams, but it all has an uneasy feel to it this time. As if Sparrow’s cruel words had changed my view of the world. I pick up on more of the broken branches, and dead leaves, and the imperfections in the ground.
After we finally get back to our tree home, I immediately fly to my nest, to hide from the world. My parents don’t question it, and begin preparing dinner. I collapse into my nest immediately, and unwelcome tears start leaving my eyes.
I feel my sense of time leave my grasp, as I start thinking and overthinking about what Snap said. Whether he was right, and whether or not I should just stay a caterpillar. These thoughts are the only things to plague my mind, until I hear the familiar chime of someone outside our home.
I get out of my nest, and fly down to see who it is, and see no one other than Shade, my best friend of 3 years.
“Hey Butter! How are you doing? I heard about what happened with Snap wanna talk about anythi-” I wrap my arms and wings around Shade, and he goes quiet. He hugs me back, and we stand there for a few minutes. “You’ll always be an amazing person Butter. Whether as a butterfly or a caterpillar. I love you, and care to have you as my best friend no matter how you look, so long as you are comfortable.”
I hug him tighter, “Thank you Shade. Same goes for you.”