Chasing Green Butterflies ~ Cuddlefish of the Infinite Regress ~
Many many years ago there lived a man named “Knows-Nothing.”
Knows-Nothing lived in a large but sheltered village, whose name has long been forgotten. What is known, according to the tales, is that the people of this village practiced a very peculiar set of customs. All their days were spent chasing green butterflies.
Knows-Nothing was named such simply because the other villagers felt it described him so perfectly. To some regards that description may have had a degree of truthfulness, but one thing was certain: he knew nothing of chasing green butterflies. But then again, what else is there, right?
One summer afternoon, while Knows-Nothing walked the nearby wood, he came across a Horrible Truth. It was said that what Knows-Nothing saw was, indeed, so horrible that it caused him to lose consciousness for three days and two nights.
Knows-Nothing awoke in a daze. Thinking it all a dream, he was maddened once again upon seeing the Horrible Truth lying there beside him. The Horrible Truth was real. “The village must be warned!” he said to himself, as he gathered his sanity and ran back to town.
Knows-Nothing arrived in a blaze, hollering as loud as he could, “I have seen the Horrible Truth!” Running and yelling, he made his way through the village. “The Horrible Truth is out there!” He bellowed at the top of his lungs. However, no one payed him any attention, and they all went on blissfully chasing green butterflies. Perceiving him a fool, no one could be
bothered to listen.
Having seen the peoples reaction, Knows-Nothing got a grip on himself. “No one is going to listen to a raving lunatic,” he said, “maybe I can explain to them the Horrible Truth calmly. I’ll use some graphs and charts and a bullet point list of facts. No one would deny actual evidence.”
Knows-Nothing set up a booth in the village square, and asked people as they passed: “Hello, sir. Are you aware of the Horrible Truth? Excuse me, ma’am! Have you seen the recent studies about the Horrible Truth? I’m sure if you reviewed the information, you would find…” Again, he was greatly ignored. That is, until he was told to move along by one of the
elders. He was making it difficult for others to chase green butterflies.
No one would listen to anything Knows-Nothing said, despite the fact that he had seen the Horrible Truth which was far more horrible than he could even understand. Knows-Nothing knew one thing, if the people weren’t prepared for the Horrible Truth, it would surely destroy them all. “I need to keep telling them! They must listen, whether they want to or not!” And he stormed into town once more.
“You listen here, you butterfly-chasing morons! I have seen the Horrible Truth he yelled, “And if you stupid assholes don’t do something about it, the Horrible Truth is going to kill us all! Now, you better listen up!”
The people of the village looked up at Knows-Nothing in shock at the sudden outburst. “Excuse me.” A nearby elder approached, “All this talk about the Horrible Truth got me thinking…” he paused. “And I think we’re going to have to ask you to leave, you’re being an awful downer.”
Defeated, Knows-Nothing walked away, head hung. He knew about the Horrible Truth yet his words were ignored or misunderstood. He looked over his shoulder towards his old village, and he could hear the cries of devastation as they pealed through the trees as the Horrible Truth consumed them all.
As he looked on, an old sage named “Knows-A-Thing-Or-Two” happened to pass. As Knows-Nothing cast his eye upon him, he felt the need to warn the old man to avoid that village at all costs, as there lies the Horrible Truth but, by the look in the old sage’s face, Knows-Nothing knew that he was well aware. He stopped his words at the thought.
They looked at each other in silence and nodded.