scary moths and butterflies

I was watching a moth fly around, batting itself against the light…when I realized that I was watching in both awe, curiosity, and fright.

Fright. I don’t think most people are scared of butterflies and moths. Bees? Yes. Praying mantises? yes. Millipedes? Yes. Scorpions? Yes. Butterflies….?

When I was child, I guess I loved butterflies and moths. I guess I tried to catch them and hold them in my hand. I guess I must have tried to rub my eyes after touching them with my hands. I don’t remember that part.

But I do remember when my mother told me, “Butterflies and moths will make you blind–if you touch them and then you touch your eyes, YOU WILL GO BLIND!”

I can only guess she was saying that in reaction to some behavior of mine–you know, chasing them around, touching them, and then touching my eyes. My mother doesn’t usually make stuff like that up. She’s a nurse and knows better. But maybe she was alarmed and wanted to put me off butterflies and moths forever. To this day, there is a part of me that thinks they will cause blindness.

And so today I blanch when I see a moth or a butterfly flying at me.

(and while we’re at it, why is blindness the greatest threat to children? Isn’t that the same threat associated with masturbation?)

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7 Comments

Filed under Funny Shit, Funny Stuff, Life, Miscellaneous

7 responses to “scary moths and butterflies

  1. Hyun

    i remember being told the same thing when i was a small kid in korea. old wives’ tale perhaps?

  2. I read somewhere (maybe the Museum of Natural History Magazine?) that women are generally afraid of insects because of some evolutionary-implanted need to protect children from disease-carrying bugs.

    but blindness? I’m not really sure where that rumor’s from!

  3. Ack, what a rumor! You would have hated the butterfly conservatory my mom and I went to a few months ago — butterflies kept landing on my head and I was afraid I’d kill them by moving too quickly.

    Of course, my mom wanted to trick me before going in and put sugar all over me so they’d perch on my shirt. Thankfully I found out and said no way. My first name means “chases butterflies,” so it’s a thing with us. No one ever said I’d go blind!

  4. anonwupfan

    Ew, that reminds me of the moths that drink tears out of your eyes (sorry if I’m piling on your Lepidophobia JP, but I had to get that image off of my chest!)

    Non-moth, but devious parents related: I know a guy whose parents told him that their car would explode if they left their lights on in the parking lot!

    JP, I don’t know about blindness being the greatest threat. My mom liked to remind me of the kid in Florida that was decapitated after wandering off one time too many (I was a notorious wander-er off-er.)

    Of course if we’re talking masturbation here, there’s always the threat of eternal damnation! 😦

  5. fear the butterfly! 😛

    seriously I think it’s so silly of me–they are such beautiful and peaceful creatures.

  6. samirawants

    I was forced to go to a butterfly farm once in Costa Rica and it was my equivalent to hell.

    I am so scared of them, mostly because they are too fluttery. You never know where they are going next. Maybe I am so scared of them because they remind me of myself.

    I never know where I am going next, either.

  7. emma

    I’m terrified of butterflies. Something about the way they flit around your head no matter how you try to brush them away. And the fact that when you touch them, little tiny ‘feathers’ from their wings come off on your hands. I think it started on a field trip where they made us put sugar water on our hands to let the butterflies in this garden lick off. Nasty little curly tongues! Good to know I’m not the only one with this weird phobia! Solidarity.

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