by the American Sunday-School Union
"O mother, look here! What is this?" exclaimed
Eddie, as he was in the garden with his
mother and Mary and Willie. He was standing
by a tall pole, around which a Lima bean-vine had
wound itself. He had been gathering the great dry
pods in a basket to preserve them for winter, when
his grandmother would come to Clover-Hill to see
her dear grandchildren. His attention had been attracted
by something peculiar, and he immediately
called his mother to come and see it. Mary and
Willie ran to look. Mrs. Dudley found it was a
beautiful green chrysalis, suspended by its silken
cords to the vine. The colour was soft and delicate,
and it was ornamented with a black line, and with
bright golden spots.
"Isn't it pretty, mother?" "How did it get
here?" and many more questions were rapidly
asked, while the little folks carefully examined it.
Mrs. Dudley told them what it was, and that if they
preserved it, they would in a few days see a butterfly
escape from it. Eddie looked up astonished. She
also told them that it was once a worm, crawling
about upon the earth; that it had climbed up, and
suspended itself under the shelter of the leaves, to
await its change into a new and more attractive
form of being.
Mrs. Dudley took the chrysalis from the vine and
carried it to the house, and put it on the mantle in
her room. Every day the children looked at it to
ascertain if there was any change. Soon the colour
began to fade, and the delicate pea-green became an
ashen white. Then it opened slightly, where there
had from the first seemed to be lines of division, and
they could peep in at the imprisoned insect. The
opening became wider and wider, and one day, when
Eddie came into the room and went as usual to look
at the chrysalis, the shell was empty! The butterfly
had escaped. He uttered an exclamation of mingled
surprise and disappointment. As he turned
his head, he saw, on the little cotton muff of
Mary's doll, the butterfly for which he had so patiently
"Here it is, mother!" he shouted in the most
joyous tones, and his eyes sparkled with delight.
Eddie and his mother observed it for some time.
Its long, slender legs rested on the muff, and ever
and anon it would open and close its brilliant
wings, as if to try their power, or to dry the miniature
feathers which adorned them. Its colour was a
rich orange, shaded from the lighter tints to the
deeper, and variegated with stripes of black. The
children examined it with a microscope, which
made it appear even more beautiful and wonderful
It remained on the muff several hours, and then
flew to the window, and alighted on the curtain.
At evening, it was found on the cushion of a spool-stand,
and there it passed the night. The next day
it disappeared, and the children saw it no more. It
probably flew away through the open window, to
enjoy its brief life under the smiling sun.
The children talked much about the transformations
which had taken place in the life of that caterpillar.
Their mother told them that the butterfly
was sometimes considered a type of immortality.
In this world we are, like the worm, in an inferior
state of existence. Our bodies are laid in the grave,
but we are not dead, any more than the unmoving
chrysalis—which remained so long on the mantel
just where it was placed—was dead. The spirit
still lives, and, after it has freed itself from the imprisoning
flesh, is more beautiful than before, and
is susceptible of more perfect enjoyment in the pure
atmosphere of heaven.