The Transformed Beetle
The great director and producer, Cecil B. DeMille, was not only a man of great talent but also a man of keen insight. He shared this observation with his friends:
While canoeing on a Maine lake, he noticed a horde of water beetles just below the surface of the water. One of the water beetles came to the surface and slowly crawled up the side of the canoe. Finally, struggling to the top, the beetle grasped onto the wood and died.
DeMille forgot about the beetle until a few hours later when he noticed the beetle again. In the hot sun, its shell had become very dry and brittle. As DeMille watched, its shell split open and there emerged a new form, a dragonfly, which took to the air, its magnificent colors illuminated in the sunlight.
The dragonfly flew farther in an instant than the water beetle had crawled in days. Then it circled back and swooped down to the surface of the water. DeMille noticed its shadow on the water. The water beetles below might have seen it too. But now their erstwhile companion existed in a state far beyond their comprehension.
They were still living in their very small, limited world while their winged cousin had gained for himself all the freedom between earth and sky.
When he told friends about what he had seen, DeMille concluded with this penetrating question: "Would the great Creator of the universe do that for a water beetle and not for a human being?"
ANOTHER VERSION: The Dragonfly
Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions.
Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their friend was dead, gone forever.
Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top.
When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.
So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed.
Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended.
But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life, free as the wind!
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