art by Shothot Designs
by Shannon Luke Ryan
Deep in the tropical rainforests of far north Queensland, two tiny cocoons hung from a thick purple fungus. The cocoon on the left began to twitch and shudder, moments later so did the other.
A split appeared in the left cocoon, and two bright yellow wings could be seen as a little butterfly slowly emerged and took a perch on the spongy purple mushroom. It was joined less than a minute later by another, as the second cocoon split and disgorged a larger red and green winged butterfly.
They stood side by side in the silent forest, totally still. Then the larger butterfly fluttered its wings and rose into the air. With a sudden effort it beat its wings heavily once, then settled back on the fungus. The air displaced by the flapping wings produced a series of minute eddies that expanded exponentially, lifting warm air high into the atmosphere until the ice cold jet streams of the stratosphere were disturbed. Off the coast of north Queensland the warm air collapsed a low-pressure cell and a cyclone began to form. That cyclone hit the coast of Australia and wiped out the banana industry. The red and green butterfly just sat on the fungus, preening its wings and looking very satisfied with itself.