I found her on the road.
She was hurt and was trying fruitlessly to fly. She seemed relieved to crawl onto my finger.
I walked back to my dorm room, the bright yellow-and-black butterfly fluttering on my hand.
Pulling out my phone, I researched and figured out she is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. I named her Sunshine for her yellow wings.
When I got in the room, I tried to make a comfy home for her. I took a sturdy grocery bag and a mesh laundry bag and made her a temporary house. I even cut up an orange and gave it to her and later made a sugar water mixture and put it in a bottle cap for her to drink out of.
I was a little worried at first that she wasn’t eating or drinking. However, I was finally able to get her to drink the sugar water.
My roommate and I enjoyed having our little pet for the two days we did. Soon, she was flying around the dorm room. We decided we needed to let her go.
When we took her outside, she seemed hesitant to leave us. Finally, she soared up and disappeared into the white blossoms of a nearby tree.
Goodbye, Sunshine. May the flowers you land on always have a little extra nectar and the birds be blinded by you like the sunshine you really are (just long enough they don’t eat you, of course).
Thank you for adding a little brightness to our days.