Butterfly Bloodbath: Hundreds Of Butterflies Butchered By Children In Macabre Celebration

Hundreds of butterflies were butchered accidentally by over enthusiastic children in a celebration that went terribly wrong and turned into what can only be described as a butterfly bloodbath.

The Mirror reports that a shop based in Chengdu, south west China held an event in Qingshuihe Park, which planned as its high point to release hundreds of butterflies from ornamental boxes.

If any creature invokes a person’s poetic sensibilities, it’s the butterfly. These “self-propelled flowers” have long been adored in rhyme by old romantics such as John Keats, who, in perhaps the murk and mist of some opium haze wrote, “I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days.”

Although George Carlin once said, “The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.” There is something inherent in the form and soul of the butterfly which symbolises innocence, beauty and wonder. As the poet Brian D’ Ambrosio once speculated, Butterflies! The embodiment of myth, the articulation of the past.”

It’s also very true that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Something which the organisers of Chengdu’s butterfly bloodbath found to their cost, when what should have been an expression of pure unbounded joy turned into a hellish massacre. Here’s how.

The butterflies, which were flown in especially from China’s Yunnan Province, were planned to be released from their special boxes so hundreds of children could chase after the beautiful winged creatures in spellbound awe.

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Only it didn’t quite happen like that. Because the butterflies had been kept warm by organisers prior to the event, upon release into the chilly air of a foreign climate, they instantly became lethargic and failed to find the strength to flap their wings and lift themselves from the stage they now found themselves upon.

Waddling around on the ground like injured soldiers in the wake of some terrible carnage, and unable to muster the strength to fly off in a wave of colourful wonder, the butterflies were in effect sitting ducks, as seemingly oblivious to the butterflies’ plight, the over-excited children stormed the stage to give chase to their exotic prey.

Needless to say, parents looked on in mute terror and growing horror at their stampeding children as they unwittingly crushed the life out of every last one of those unfortunate and helpless insects, transforming what should have been a magical occasion into a butterfly bloodbath.

Horrified event organisers were left to clear up the mess which remained in the wake of the slaughter, and have since apologised profusely for the incident.

In the aftermath of such a tragedy, perhaps we should remember the comforting words of Rabindranath Tagore, “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

{Images via PDCHina/twitter}