"Niken's Letter about Butterflies"
("Is it true that butterflies never visit your garden?")

By Renny Yaniar
Fifit, my dearest friend, How are you? I've read your letter and it's made me happy. In that letter, you told me about your beautiful garden that is never visited by butterflies. Strange, isn't it? A garden full of flowers but without butterflies. Fifit, do you want to hear my stories? I also have a little garden beside my house. Before that, we had a garden at the front of the house. It's a pity, we had to loose the garden for the making of the public road. About the little garden, it used to be an empty field, where wild grass and bushes grew. Not so interesting view.

One day, my clever big sister, Sapti, turned that empty field to a garden. Well, a busy day it was. We went here and there to our neighbors to lend shovels and plant scissors. First we cut all the wild plants and cleaned the field. Then, we made some little hills. After that, we looked for flower plants. We called every plant-seller who passed our house and chose some beautiful plants, and of course, the not so expensive one. We also asked the seller how to plant and took care of those plants.

The garden was not full at once because we bought the plant one by one. You should know we bought the plants with our pocket money. Besides buying we also had new plants from our friends. Every week we always had new plants. And after months, our garden had been full of beautiful plants and flowers. We're proud of it. So were Mom and Dad. I don't know exactly how many kinds of plants there are in our garden. But I'm sure, the rose is the most I love. There are red roses and orange roses. I love the other flowers too. But I do not know the entire names. Such as little white flowers with shape like bells; violet flowers that remind me of some very tiny flowers; big yellow flowers, or orchid with red dots on it. Very beauti-ful, isn't it?

Guests always visit the garden every day and are never bored to enjoy it for hours. No, they're not my friends, or Sapti's friend. Our friends do not come every day. Can you guess who they are? Buzzing bees, caterpillars that never stop chewing the leaves, dancing ladybugs, the hard-working ants, and most of all: the butterflies with their gorgeous wings.

I often stand among the flowers and then some butterflies sit on my hands. I can see very clearly, how they flutter their colored wings. What beautiful creatures! They seem to speak to me. Not with our language, but with grace movement, as if they said, "Nice to be here in your garden. We can fly from one flower to another without fear to be harmed."

Dear Fifit, your garden is not the only one that is never visited by butterflies. Some of my friends have the same complain as you have. Why? Because the butterflies are always chased, captured, even tortured. Can you imagine if your body is tied tightly and then you are forced to run? Some kids did that awful thing to butterflies! They tied butterflies with strings till they couldn't fly again. The poor butterflies could only fluttered their wings in vain. They must have screamed, "Please, release me!" Sometimes, a butterfly could escape and quickly warned their friends. "Watch out! Don't ever go to that garden. There is a kid who likes hurting us." Finally, no butterfly ever dares visiting that garden.

Fifit, eventhough they are animals, the butterflies also have feelings. If we do good things to them, they would do nice things to us. If we do bad things to them, they won't come to you again.They are weak animals. If danger comes, they can only fly away. They can't fight back.

Now, is it true butterflies never visit your garden? Try to watch your garden from inside the house through the window. I'm sure, there will be some butterflies come by. Probably, they wait until nobody was in the garden.

Fifit, I am not accusing you hurting the butter-flies. Maybe there was somebody who had come to your garden and disturbed the butterflies. If you want to speak to butterflies, it's easy. The most important thing is never having intention to harm them. Give some friendly signs that you want to play with them. I'm sure they will do it for you. Hope many butterflies will come to your garden soon.

Your best friend,