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How Butterflies Came To Be *

There once lived an old woman who tended a fine flower garden by the shore of a lake. The fisherfolk who lived in a nearby village loved her dearly, and would often visit her to exchange their fish for lovely flowers.

They somehow knew there was something magical about her, for her house seemed mysteriously bright at night (no, she didn't have any electricity), and some even saw a few dwarfs assisting what appeared to be a beautiful young woman... but only at night, never during the day.

One time, a young couple visited the village. They were proud and hated anything ugly.

They chanced upon the old woman's flower garden at the edge of the lake, and entered it to gather some bouquets. The old woman asked them to leave, but instead of obeying, the young man and woman made fun of her because they found her ugly.

To punish them, the old woman touched them with a cane and said that since they like only beautiful things, they will be turned into the most beautiful insects.

So the next time you see two lovely butterflies hovering near some flowers, you'll remember that haughty young couple.

How to Cite This Web Page

Viloria, Manuel. How Butterflies Came To Be. Accessed [put the date when you accessed this page]. Available from

* The above retold story is based on...

Damiana Eugenio, ed. Philippine Folk Literature: The Myths. (Diliman, Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 1993), 353.

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