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The Dung Beetle and the Butterfly

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Once upon a time, there was a dung beetle. He was pushing his ball of dung across the hot baking plain. It was tiring work but he never stopped.

Before long, a shadow flitted across his back. Once, then twice. It was a purple butterfly, flitting back and forth to see what was going on.

The dung beetle didn't take notice of the butterfly at first. He was busy rolling his dung ball along, and the butterfly certainly wasn't a threat.

It was harder to ignore when the butterfly spoke up. "What are you doing?"

"I'm pushing my ball of dung."

The butterfly was quiet for a moment. Then he spoke again. "Okay. Why?"

"I'm a dung beetle. That's what we do."

"That's kind of weird, you know."

"Not for a dung beetle."

"You ever take breaks?"

"Not until I get it where it needs to go."

"Well, where does it need to go?"

"To my tunnel."

"You're pushing a ball of dung to your tunnel."




"Dude, that's kind of gross."

He looked up at the butterfly, then. "Dung beetle."

"Fair enough. Where's your tunnel?"

"Over by the fern that's by the dead tree."

The butterfly lifted up in the air for a while and then dropped back down. "Dude," he said, "that's like fifteen feet away."

"Yeah. It is."

"Sure you're going to make it?"

"Of course I am."

"Okay. Mind having some company?"

"I'm a dung beetle. It's not like I can chase you off."

"Good point!"

"I have those."

"So... do you push dung a lot?"

"Again. Dung. Beetle."

"Thing's like twice your size."

"I was lucky to find this much. I'll be good for a while once I get it to my tunnel."

"Do you have a name? Other than Dung Beetle Who Won't Stop Working? I mean, I can call you that."

"I'll stop working once I'm done. And my name's Phil."

"Nice to meet you, Phil."

"You too, Butterfly Who Won't Stop Talking."

The butterfly laughed. "Clint."

"You too, Clint."

"There's a rock in a couple feet. You might want to swerve to the left a little."

Phil shifted and the ball of dung rolled at a bit more of an angle. "Thanks."

"Least I could do. I mean, I'm not pushing anything twice my size."


"Yeah Phil?"

"After I get this dung to my tunnel?"


"You can hang around and chat a little. I mean if you want."

"I'd like that."

And that's what happened.

No shit.