Easter Butterflies

“Why do we celebrate Easter?” Gavin asked.

Gavin’s mom smiled and paused her knitting. “Because we’re remembering that Jesus died and lived again so we can too,” his mom said.

“How does that work?” Gavin asked. “I thought people stayed dead unless they’re zombies.”

“Well, we don’t know when everyone will live again, just that it will happen someday. Because of Jesus, someday we will live again with everyone we love. And then no one will ever die again,” his mom said. “And zombies aren’t real.”

“Are you sure?” Gavin asked.

“About the zombies or about living again?” his mom asked.

“Both,” Gavin said.

“Yep,” his mom said. She picked up her knitting and started counting stitches.

“But mom,” Gavin said. “How does it work?”

“Well, it’s like butterflies,” his mom said. She put her knitting down again. “They start out like caterpillars and live and learn and grow.   Then they make cocoons and stay there for a long time. Then, when the time is right, they come out of the cocoon with new, changed, better bodies.”

“Zombies don’t have better bodies,” Gavin said.

“Zombies are made up. When we live again like Jesus did, we’ll have better bodies,” his mom said.

“So we’re like caterpillars?” Gavin asked.

“Just a little,” his mom said. She picked up her knitting and started counting again.

“Well, that’s a frightening conversation to walk into,” Gavin’s dad said.

“Are you scared of zombies?” Gavin asked.

“He’s scared of caterpillars,” his mom said.

“That doesn’t make sense. No one is scared of caterpillars. I don’t think they even have teeth,” Gavin said.

“Well, it’s a long story,” his dad said.

“I want to hear it,” Gavin said. “Please?”

“Oh, I don’t know. It’s not very interesting,” his dad said. “Who wants to play Monopoly?”

“Not me,” Mom said. “I always lose, and it takes too long.”

“Tell me the story,” Gavin said.

“What story?” Dad said.

“About the caterpillars,” Gavin said.

“What caterpillars?” Dad said.



Mom sighed and put her knitting down again. “Just tell him the story. If you don’t, I will. It’s kind of funny.”

“It’s not funny, it’s a sad, terrible story,” Dad said.

“I thought you said it wasn’t interesting,” Gavin said.

“What isn’t?”


“All right, all right,” Dad said. “I had just started my last year of high school. I went to school wearing a new button-up shirt, and everyone kept giving me thumbs up. I thought they liked my new shirt. And then, when I looked in the bathroom mirror after lunch, there was a caterpillar on my face, just like a mustache!”

“And you didn’t feel a caterpillar on your face?” Gavin asked.


“And it didn’t move all morning?” Gavin asked.

“I guess not.”

“Is this really true?” Gavin asked.

“I wonder.”


“Fine, fine,” Dad said. “It’s mostly true. Maybe. Anyways, when I saw the insect on my face, I yelled in a very manly way and slipped and nearly hit my head on the sink. Caterpillars are dangerous. I could have died.”

Gavin laughed. “It played a funny joke on you.  If I’m a caterpillar, I want to be one like that,” he said.