Over the winter months I have shared my bedroom each night with five complete strangers.
They are things of beauty. They are delicate. They are coloured. Very coloured. They have spots. They do not disturb my sleep. They do not speak.
And they hang from the ceiling – as if they have taken advice from the gritty pages of Fifty Shades of Grey.
They have been attracted to my boudoir for several years. But as winter gives way to spring, I will soon have my bedroom once again to myself.
My lovely companions are about to depart. One has already done so. The others will soon follow.
Last year, in error I hasten to add, I killed one of them. I felt bad. Really bad.
But it was an accident, your honour.
It happened like this. I came home and did not spot that this thing of beauty was no longer suspended from the ceiling. I should have done – but I didn’t.
And I stood on my companion of the winter months. Crushed this heavenly body that had sought sanctuary in my bedroom. The sound was terrible – unforgettable. The memory still almost unbearable. The remorse total.
How could I face those that still enjoyed my bedroom?
Were those innocents now fearing the same fate as their now-dead friend – a relative for all I knew?
Would my slaying be discovered, or could it be kept a grizzly and murky secret?
In the end I confessed my sin to some pals, who laughed. They actually laughed.
I turned to the words of relatively-unknown – to me – poet Kelli D. Williams:
And I had killed it. Crushed it with my size 11 right foot.
My winter companions are, I believe, Red Admirals, and I wonder each year at the marvel of nature that brings them to my home.
On Sunday I spotted one of them fluttering on the floor and watched as it slowly gained the strength to reach the open window.
I have taped a large notice to my door: “Watch out for the butterflies.”