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“I am just hoping you will release me,” he said with a sorrowful groan.
“Do you know your story?” I asked.

He was silent.

One day there was a man wandering through the forest. His hands held a small green net with which he silently slashed the air in front of him. Some people watched him curiously, while others shrugged it off.

However, one young couple took notice of the man. He had been in the same field at the beginning of their walk and now was still there some hours later. They saw not other people around him and then sun would be setting in a few hours.

Concerned for his safety, they called the police.

Two police officers arrived and tried to speak with the man. “Sir, what are you doing here?” They asked the same question a number of different ways and each time, he would just smile. Finally one of the officers grabbed hold of his wrist. “We really need you to answer our questions. You are turning in circles and swiping the air with your net but there is nothing there.”

The man suddenly stopped and the officer grabbed the net out of his hand. “You need to come with us. We will take you home.” Tugging back slightly, the man looked up at the officer and then directed his gaze down. “I just want to be free,” he said. “What do you mean?” the officer asked. “Is someone hurting you? Are you unwell?” The man’s back straightened.

“The butterflies. That is why I come here.” Both officers chuckled. “Where are you going to keep them? I don’t see any jars.” The man grinned, “oh I take them home and release them.” Confused, the officers glanced around to see how he would transfer the butterflies home.”

“Do you have a car? Sir, you aren’t wearing any shoes. This is quite some ways from the city. How did you get here?” The man remained silent.

Finally, a third officer arrived and was brought up to date. “I see,” he said. “Sir, tell me about your butterflies. Do you have many at home?” The man was silent. “Do they live long?” His eyes darted up at the new arrival. “Only a little while. They want to be released. They want to be free like me.” The officer nodded.

“Okay, you got here somehow so let’s make a deal. If you promise to stop catching these butterflies and go home, we will set you free, okay?” “Yes.” the man whispered. “So we have a deal?” the officer asked again. The man was silent. The third officer motioned to the first and he loosened his grasp on the man’s wrist. That is when he saw it. Just the tip of a bright yellow wing poked out from near the man’s pinky.

The first two officers looked at each other in disbelief. “Now, I thought you and I had a deal. How about you start with the one in your hand.” His voice was firm but gentle. Moving his fingers, the latex of his blue glove crackled as it stretched across his hand.

Without notice, the man turned his back and began to walk away. “My ride home will be here shortly. Thank you officers.”

And they watched as his hands cleanched.