The Butterfly Collector

The Butterfly Collecter

What does bondage look like?


I read this story a while back, but I can’t remember where it came from…otherwise I’d tell you.  It must have been in some John Eldredge book (Waking the Dead? Wild at Heart?).  I don’t know.  Anyway the story goes like this…


A wise king is almost killed by his brother, but because the king is a nice guy (wise kings are usually nice), he doesn’t kill his brother.  No.  He sentences him to stay in a small shack-type-thing overlooking the ocean.  The king has also ordered his personal chef to cook feasts for his brother for every meal of the day.  Here’s where the king’s wisdom shows: There’s no door to the shack.  And did I mention that his brother could stand to lose a few pounds?


So I pictured this dirty prisoner in the middle of a cell overlooking paradise, craving his next meal more than his freedom.  It’s pretty easy to dismiss as stupidity isn’t it?

It is a parable of justice, and I don’t know about you, but there’s a part of me that is rooting for that prisoner.  Too many people die in their cells overlooking paradise (the man in this story did). I wish we could use our wings and fly away.


2 Responses to “The Butterfly Collector”

  1. 1 seth
    January 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    There are some interesting things going on with this one. i’m interested in the relationship between this and the piece you made for Dale. Having the picture plane divided top and bottom seems to work really well for the elements you include. Looking forward to more.

  2. 2 namesake
    January 8, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Wings are merely burdensome to those bound to earth by imaginary forces of gravity. Gravity is actually a weak force, in the relative sense, intended for defiance. Yet, it is overwhelming to those carrying the weight of their own ill-gotten worlds.

    Does the butterfly collector have freedom or bondage in his view? His fierce demeanor cuts both ways.

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