Rumi looked up, staring hard at Uncle Metal’s face. Perhaps, she was wondering why he always looked sad, so sullen, withdrawn from the world around. Ma wasn’t so, neither was anyone she knew on Ma’s side (well, that was the only side she knew of). So, very often, she wondered about the ‘look’.
Puzzled, she perched herself atop the kitchen slab one day, where Ma was busy making something (yeah, because you can’t think of a name for Ma’s dishes; she was proudly horrible at cooking). This something must have been the reason that made Rumi pick an orange (before Ma could make her eat something else!).
Shyly, she asked Ma, “What’s wrong with your brother Ma? He seems errr… kind of loopy. He’s good fun, but looks err… loopy at times (with loopy, she meant lost I think).” Quite surprised, Ma took Rumi by her arm to the green house.
“Can you see that caterpillar child?”
“Yes, course I can.”
“How does it look to you?”
“Smug, I suppose, and ugly.”
“Okay, but do you know caterpillars turn into those coloured creatures you love, those butterflies?”
“Blimey, do they? I didn’t know of that now!”
“Yes, they do. And the thing that’s wrong with your uncle is that he has stopped believing in the magic. He has closed his eyes to the beauty around, in the blessings that he has, and clings to things that hurt him the most.”
Now ummm…. is something that you say when you don’t know what to say.
The next morning, Rumi took a glass jar, filled it with pebbles and fistfuls of soil, and a caterpillar. A note that had the story of a caterpillar turning into butterfly in her loopy handwriting was pasted to its side.
She left it at the doorstep of Uncle Metal’s house.
Hope he finds it on time, before he loses the beauty that the world around him has.