While living in New York, a student befriended a butterfly who never left his side.
No one ever suspects the butterfly… of being able to display or return affection in any meaningful way. But at least one monarch butterfly showed a true bond to a young man in New York City for five whole days.
Their relationship began with an act of kindness. While heading home from school, Andreas Alfaro found a butterfly at the bottom of a staircase. It was trapped inside with nowhere to go, so Alfaro decided to help the little insect out. He picked her up, placed her on his shoulder, and walked outside.
Strangely, she didn’t fly away even when he hopped on his bike and rode all the way from Brooklyn to Manhattan. It was at that point he says he “felt that bond” with the butterfly, who he named Penelope.
From that day forward, the two were inseparable. On his way to class, Alfaro kept Penelope on his shoulder the entire time. He’d play with her, placing him on his fingers, neck, and lapel, walking to and from class with a butterfly clinging to him every step of the way.
After a few days, Alfaro told The Dodo that he felt his relationship with Penelope was strong enough that she’d never leave. He decided to push the boundaries a bit by taking her with him to places that were obviously not fit for butterflies: the gym, the pool, and even to a jazz nightclub where he played the bass (and what’s cooler than a jazz bass player with a butterfly on his shoulder?).
Andreas fed Penelope sugar water from a spoon and even built her a little home in his apartment with leaves and twigs from the neighborhood. Although she was never confined to her space and would often fly over to Alfaro’s pillow while he slept.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Monarch butterflies have a life span of 2-5 weeks, and after 5 days, Andreas got a call from his roommate telling him that Penelope had died in the home that Andreas had made for her.
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Let me introduce you guys to Penelope. • Penelope was this ✨ magical butterfly 🦋I encountered a while back while living in New York City. We shared a very special connection/bond. • I will be slowly releasing some of the footage I have of this beautiful tale however be sure to check out the video link in my bio where @thedodo does a great job at summarizing the story in a nutshell! • Thanks to all of you who have been sharing this story with your friends and family it definitely was a very special & symbolic moment in my life I was lucky enough to experience. 🙏🏼🦋🔮
It was a hard blow, but Andreas was comforted by the fact that Penelope had chosen to spend the last few days of her life with him and nobody else.
Now Alfaro is in Los Angeles living his best life. You can catch him performing extreme sports on his Instagram, where he’ll also post a few private vids of Penelope in the near future.