"Oh my word," my daughter said. "Do you see that?"
As it batted its enormous wings, filling the air with a wing-batting sound kind of like when a helicopter lands right next to your ear, I cried to the Historian, who was watching television in the next room: "Honey," I said, except softly and sweetly but with a slightly scream-y edge of panic, "HONEY, there's a MOTH IN MY STUDY."
The faint and melodic sounds of the television show danced in the air. "What's that?" he said.
"A MOTH. Can you come rescue it?" Before I kill it with my shoes, I might have added, although anyone present would have seen that as the idle threat it was--no way would I touch that moth with my shoe. That moth was like the Goliath of moths. It was pretty, I could see that, in an abstract way--white with black markings and maybe some red? Pretty and scary and possibly lethal and definitely repugnant. Like, a guerilla moth. A mercenary soldier moth. Perhaps an assassin moth? I am no entomologist, but I am pretty sure that's a thing.
Later that evening--this, after the Savior of all Wingèd Creatures (and also All Arachnids, and also me) had retrieved the moth in his hand (!!!!) and released it into the wild, where surely it would have more opportunity not to eat my clothes or shoes or lay eggs someplace unpleasant--the Historian said, "Why--I'm not trying to challenge you here, just asking--why are people afraid of moths but not of butterflies?"
A brief interlude upon the butterfly:
The butterfly, which wends and wafts its way upon the wind OUTSIDE where flying things belong: the butterfly, which alights on flowers and grasses OUTSIDE and perhaps migrates from Mexico and back again, all the while OUTSIDE: the butterfly, which flies and is not made of butter but nonetheless stays OUTSIDE.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled Moth Story:
"I think it's because moths come inside. And butterflies don't," I said.
"Ah," said the Historian.