Once upon a time, there have been
three little butterflies –
so happy, sadly never seen –
under the lightblue skies.
They were but dancing all around
on fields been flared by light –
where flowers’ petals were the ground –
in yellow, red and white.
But all at once, the sky darkened
calling clouds out of chrome –
Yellow, Red and White disheartened –
It was time to go home.
The three butterflies aimed their hut
reaching it with the storm –
drops by drops, but the hut was shut –
need’ to find a new dorm.
Yellow came: the yellow tulip!
While Red said the red one –
Going with White’s similar tip –
They went’ check one by one.
Reaching each tulip, they begged as
let us in, dear palace –
only one colour, the petals’ –
they found closed chalice.
The red tulip let but Red in
and so on the others –
butterflies stayed ‘gether, wetting –
dying as true brothers.
They hid under a bigger leaf
where the wind still reached them –
fair moment to do disbelief –
but they still prayed the sun:
Bright sun! Dry our wet pollen-wings!
Bright up sun! Let us fly! –
The sun heard the cry of their song’s –
It became lightblue sky.
Original Hungarian prose of Jékely Zoltán: A három pillangó.