By Janice Kimball

butterflies flying multicolored


We moved slowly to admire the myriad of goods for sale by smiling vendors. Suddenly before me appeared a frame holding three butterflies encased between two pieces of glass.  Their iridescent, effervescent, magical and alluring beauty called out to me.  I tried to hide from the vendor how much I wanted them.  I knew they wouldn’t come cheap and it would be foolish of me to spend the money.

“Ohh,” I sighed, In my whole life I have never seen anything more beautiful!

“For you, I will sell them for $1,000 pesos,” the man said.

I knew that my wallet harbored two $500 peso bills and a $200 peso bill, but said nothing. I also knew that although I was willing to spend money foolishly, I had to think about it.

On the way home the butterflies were only mentioned once.  “They are unique,” my Mexican companion told me. “I have never seen such huge butterflies like that and never expect to again!”

“The vendors’ tents will be taken down this afternoon,” my friend told me the following morning. “Do you want me to check to see if the butterflies are still there?”

“Only offer $900 pesos for them,” I replied reaching into my purse.

I wondered about the worth of the remaining $100 pesos. Would it be the amount needed to pay respect to a dead aunt, the price of food needed by the vendor’s family? Mulling these questions over was a waste of energy for me, however, as my Mexican friend already knew the answers. He would pay the vender full price and spare himself those questions.


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