Thursday, July 21, 2011


Walking through the concourse of the MTR station, I saw a butterfly fluttering across the floor; baffled, perhaps, by fluorescent lighting, it was flitting around at shoe level in the tiled expanse.

I wondered for a moment what the butterfly was doing there; it was too small to carry an Octopus card, so I don't think it had paid to enter through the barriers. Perhaps it had paid in cash, but I'm sceptical that it would have managed to carry even a ten dollar bill to the customer services desk. And how would it have earned that money? Butterflies aren't renowned for their industriousness.

If it had been an ant, fair enough.

I worried whether the butterfly would make it back to the world outside. But since the world immediately outside Tin Hau MTR is Tin Hau, a messy collection of small restaurants, bus stations, tennis racket restringers and idling taxis, that wouldn't be a pleasant environment for a butterfly. It couldn't stay in the MTR all day though, in case it got trod upon.

Perhaps I'm devoting too much attention to a tiny animal, but who wants to break a butterfly on a heel? Small though its life may be, it's still a creature with a life, and possibly responsibilities, children it has to care for, parents it tries to make proud, a sometimes difficult job in a faceless corporation that drains its life away so slowly, still dreaming it might one day excel at basketball or interpretative dance. Dear little butterfly, what hopes and dreams may flit through your mind as you flit across the MTR floor!

Unless it's a moth, mind. I hate moths and if it is, I hope somene trod on it.


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