Wet Dragonfly Wings

I had lived long enough to have forgotten what my kind did to its old. “I dreamed of flying,” I said to my younger brother, holding on to his hand as we walked through the dragonfly garden. When his eyes moistened, I added, “Don’t fret. They are just dreams, not madness.” Dragonflies flew high over our heads… the largest of dragonflies.

“You won’t make it across without a snack.” My brother detached an egg the size of a grape from the back of an enormous leaf. “Don’t be like that.” He said when I twisted my face and stepped away from him. “Just pop it in your mouth and swallow. You won’t have to eat another for as long as the trip lasts. I promise.”

Reluctantly, I put the egg in my mouth. It was warm. I let it nest on my tongue for a few seconds. Closing my eyes, I raised my head to elongate my neck, hoping it would ease the swallowing process… The egg wouldn’t go down. I tried reaching for my throat, but my brother was holding my arms behind my back. I opened my eyes to beg him to stop, and watched as a swarm of dragonflies rushed down towards my face.

Panic bent my neck forward with a crunch. I dropped on hands and knees coughing out shell pieces, unable to breathe. Before darkening, my old eyes saw a wee woman crouching by my left thumb, wet dragonfly wings protruding out of her back. After an old man-giant blew my wings dry with his breath, I flew with mine for the first time.

To fly in the sky,
swallow a dragonfly egg
and forget humans.

for Magpie Tales 270 and the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (Tuesday Platform)
Ulrike Bolenz“Kleine Libelle” by Ulrike Bolenz

67 thoughts on “Wet Dragonfly Wings

  1. Metamorphosis through pain and panic, dreamlike in its dark wonder and trauma! Born again! There was just so much symbolism in this that will stay with me today as medicine. Thank you!

  2. Very haunting. I can understand the panic of the metamorphosis, especially when you’ve convinced yourself that its coming was only the stuff of dreams. A longed for dream can seem like a nightmare when you aren’t quite sure of what happens next. I hope the speaker remembers the glory of those dreams as soon as they are airborne.

  3. So that’s what happens when you try to swallow a giant dragonfly egg. I always wondered. I’ll steer clear from now on. ;-p

    But seriously though, that was a fun flash fiction piece. 🙂 Dark and strange in all the right places.

  4. This is absolutely amazing 😀 A truly heart-felt depiction of the process of metamorphosis..! 🙂

    To fly in the sky,
    swallow a dragonfly egg
    and forget humans.

    Beautifully penned! 😀
    Lots of love

  5. At what price transformation? And do we ever know before the pain begins? I love the suspense of this as a fictional story, cringe at the ways one might dream this in reality!

    • The other side of change can be an uncertain thing. Sometimes I wonder if there would be less or more of it, if the person about to change knew what waited on the other side…

  6. Visual impact of metamorphosis right in front of one’s eyes. Can a human-like wannabe dragon-fly spread its wings? Would like to see one trying to be the first! Wonderful write Magaly!


  7. Magic is never painless, though people like to pretend that painless things are magic–what does that say about our world, I wonder. This is delicate, yet rooted as a gnarled oak in the very real ordeal of change, never easy to swallow, leaving behind its broken shards even as it gives us our brief and ephemeral wings. This is very reminiscent of a a fable or parable, and excellently crafted.

    • Thank you. I’m really loving the form… I need to work and learn more about it (a lot more), but I think my heart understands the feeling. Now, my brain must catch up, too. 😀

  8. “To fly in the sky,
    swallow a dragonfly egg
    and forget humans.”

    Most interesting haibun, with a potent haiku to conclude; the deep desire wishing transports beyond the human self, wonderful

    much love…

  9. Lovely, strong vivid images, and with each thought, I’ve said it often, to live with out humans at times, is to truly live. (unless they’re munchkins!)

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