Thursday, August 19, 2010

From Elephants To Pet Moths

THIS ILLUSTRATION by my daughter reminds me that family and friends come in many shapes, sizes, shades and species. A heartwarming video seen by millions (after the commercial) about a bond between an elephant and dog is also a reminder. The friendship between Tara and Bella seems strange. But it is definitely not as odd as empathizing with an insect.

What looks like a pin on the television reporter's lapel is a miniscule moth often found in clothes closets. I took its picture remembering a real event that resulted in a childhood poem about a moth I spared after having second thoughts. When a solitary bug creeps, crawls or wings into view, its existence hangs at the whim of human hand-swatting powers. We are like the man with the moth or the elephant with the dog. Although we can crush the more vulnerable, most often we should not.


There’s a moth asleep on the floor
Should I kill it … squash its powdery wings
For it has no soul and it chews on clothes
I will rid myself of the snoozing thing.

Yet this moth asleep on the floor
Could have a soul as big as my own
For it is alive and we breathe the same air
I will watch it dream; I will let it roam.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms
Illustration by Holly Pavlik
Post updated September 3, 2010


  1. Penelope, as one who carries spiders outside, but have never saved a moth, your beautiful poem really touched my heart. I know it will stay with me, and so will that announcer. Is there more information about him? And yes, Tara and Bella's story is a beautiful one. I have followed the elephant sanctuary for several years, and have huge appreciation for the work they do. I try not to worry (but still do), that Bella's lifespan is so much shorter than Tara's. Animals really get it right in appreciating the moment fully, rather than projecting into the future.

  2. Did you write that poem when you were young? I think it's wonderful.
    Love, K

  3. I love your poem Penelope. And I enjoyed the story about Tara and Bella. Very much a feel good post, as I leave your blog with a smile. Thank you!


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