A Tantalising Glimpse of Invisibility

The other night, when I was preparing to head bed-wards, I got a bit of a fright as I opened my bedroom door. No, it wasn’t my reflection in the full-length mirror on the opposite wall, though I will confess that has caused more than one or two startling moments in my life. No, something fluttered. And no, it was not my heart, though that happened too, but, as it settled on the dark green carpet, I caught a tantalising glimpse of invisibility.

There are butterflies ~ I know because I’ve seen them in the butterfly farm, or almost seen them anyway ~ and they are transparent, translucent and iridescent. They are called Glasswing Butterflies and they are stunningly beautiful. And here was one in my house, resting on my hall carpet.


Photo: Flickr User: thefost

Now, here is where a small confession is necessary. I’m rather nervous of things that flutter ~ funnily enough, not when they are in their own habitat so much as when they are in mine. So, although I desperately wanted to study it up close, I was afraid to get up close. I retreated back into my bedroom with all decent haste when the beautiful creature first fluttered before me, and was now faced with the problem of catching a second glimpse, never mind a study opportunity. Opening the bedroom door with all due caution, I saw that it was still there, still resting, still beautiful. What to do?

Retreating once more behind the safety of my bedroom door ~ I know, I know, what was it going to do to me? Maul me? ~ I had a brainwave. Well, a brain flutter at any rate. I had a largish, clear plastic jar in my drawer. It used to contain night cream, but guessing the jar might come in useful sometime (like now) I had washed it out once empty and kept it.

Taking the bottom bit ~ yes, I remembered to take the lid off ~ I once more sneaked up on the resting butterfly, and after one or two abortive attempts due to unreasoning terror, I clapped the jar over the Glasswing Butterfly.


Photo:  David Tiller

Now what?

Remember, if you will, that I am afraid nervous of things that flutter in my home, so it was going to be tricky. Trouble is, I’m also half-blind somewhat short-sighted, so to be able to study this beautiful creature properly without getting down to recline beside it, I needed it raised to my work station.


If I tried to slip the piece of card I held in my shaking hand under the jar and contents, the likelihood was I’d fumble it and let the butterfly loose to do what it does best ~ flutter.


Call long-suffering man about the house, my hubby.

Obliging as ever, hubby came upstairs and slipped the card underneath jar and contents ~ at least we thought he’d managed to do so, but on examination, he declared there was nothing in the jar. Next thing to remember: hubby is also somewhat sight impaired, at least for close work.

‘There’s nothing here,’ he said, holding the jar up to the light.

‘It may look like that,’ I replied, but it’s a glasswing, so you won’t be able to see it without your reading glasses.’

‘What d’you want me to do now then?’

I was getting scared nervous there really was nothing there and he’d let the exotic creature escape to flutter into my bedroom. Clutching my pyjama trousers tightly round my legs to foil any attempt it made to flutter up inside them, (Well, one never knows with these things!) I decided there was only one kind course of action. ‘We’ll have to set the poor thing free,’ I told him. ‘If you can’t see it in the jar, then I’m going to be struggling to study it without something stronger than my reading specs.’ (The thought did cross my mind a glass of wine might be the necessary ‘something stronger’)

So we went to the back door.

‘Sure?’ hubby asked as he prepared to set this most exotic, exciting, tantalising glimpse of invisibility free.

I nodded, sad to have to miss such a rare opportunity for study, but conscious we’d already imprisoned this beautiful specimen for quite a large proportion of its natural life.

He took away the card and let it go and…

out it fluttered…



iridescent as it caught the light from the hallway…

a stunningly beautiful specimen of…



14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. annestenhouse
    Jul 07, 2015 @ 07:02:09

    What a lovely story to start my morning. thank you, Christine. Anne Stenhouse

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin
    Jul 07, 2015 @ 10:13:50

    A lovely tale … Your writing draws one in 😊

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Drae
    Jul 07, 2015 @ 15:38:09

    A Beautiful tale! Shame it wasn’t what you thought it was, but I’m glad to have found out about a new (and pretty) butterfly. Were you disappointed when you realised what it was?

    Liked by 1 person


    • cicampbell2013
      Jul 07, 2015 @ 18:46:38

      Drae, I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to be disappointed 😅
      And. The chances of such a butterfly surviving here in Scotland outside of a butterfly farm, must be astronomical, if not impossible.
      I’m happy you enjoyed the tale, though. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person


  4. A.M Rees (@1angharad_rees)
    Jul 08, 2015 @ 03:03:36

    Absolutely fantastic! Love this tale and your story telling style.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Emily Howitt
    Jul 08, 2015 @ 15:46:57

    This is a nice little story. I like your writing style, it almost has a magical quality to it. I’m also happy to have learned that this type of butterfly exists.

    Liked by 1 person


    • cicampbell2013
      Jul 09, 2015 @ 01:49:34

      Thank you, Emily. I’m so pleased you like my writing style.
      And, yes, the Glasswing is such a gorgeous butterfly, isn’t it? There are quite a number of them, all beautiful, and very exotic.



  6. The Oracle
    Jul 09, 2015 @ 02:51:05

    Wow! This is wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Z. R. Southcombe
    Jul 20, 2015 @ 20:46:41

    What a beautiful experience, Christine. I’ve never seen a glasswing butterfly before – we’re pretty limited here in New Zealand.



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