As told by Maureen
When I first saw Dessie Rosalia I thought she must be related to the fairies, for she walked with a lilt and lightness to her step that threatened to break into flight at any moment. She never came near enough to talk to me, but from a distance I could see her skipping and running and whirling with her multitude of scarfs and garlands floating out around her. I never heard her speak, but I imagined her voice to be is thin and light as frost stars on a window pane.
Gertrude Gretchen told me (with a decided grimace to her mouth) that Dessie Rosalia is not to be depended upon to do her share of the daily gathering. That if it were up to Dessie Rosalia the Pips would survive on dewdrops and nectar, and where would that leave them when winter came? Skinny and whining in the cold, that's where!
"So why do you put up with her?" I asked. Then Gertrude Gretchen relaxed a little, grinned, and proceeded to tell me about the Pips and the Butterflies.
In the beginning there were no Pips. There were humans and animals and plants of all kinds ... and Butterflies ... but there were no Pips. The Butterflies gracefully floated from flower to flower sipping nectar and dewdrops, but their lives, though beautiful, were usually short. Then one day while a large flock of Butterflies was floating over a blue and gold meadow a Yellow Swallowtail began to sing a dreamsong about living a long and active life. Soon one then another picked up the song until the whole meadow rang with the wistful tune. At the exact moment when each butterfly sang in perfect harmony with the next, the first Pip appeared ‑ born of the butterfly's' dreamsong.
To this day each Pip begins his life in this manner. But, since their lifespan is very long, they sometimes forget the butterflies who began it all. When that happens a Pip like Dessie Rosalia appears to remind them.
1994, 2006 by Maureen Carlson