I met a butterfly crusher once.
There by the beaten garden path, when my inquisitive eyes prompted him to say hey. He looked mighty curious, with a faded jacket and pale shoes. While my mother told me to avoid strangers, I stayed anyway. Sat next to him on the wooden bench.
Do you want to see a magic trick? is what he asked back then in an odd voice.
Child that I was, an evident yes.
He covered his right hand on top of the left palm before taking it away. The magic occurred, in which a turquoise butterfly landed neatly on his left palm, as though on command. (Later in my years, I found out that it was sucrose.)
It gently flapped its wings with a rhythmic heartbeat before he crumpled his fist.
Why did you do that? I remembered yelling. It was so beautiful!
Shrug of the shoulders, a cold look in my direction. Look, kid, he mused, the beautiful are foolish. They are fragile and insignificant, imaginative whims of someone who has nothing better to do. He dusted his hands and left me.
Powdered butterfly wings mourned itself at my feet.
Child that I was, I should have said no.