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The Message of the Water Beetle

The Message of the Water Beetle

Cecil B. DeMille, the famous motion picture producer, was a man of great talents and keen insights. He liked to get off by himself at times to think out a problem. One such time he went out in a canoe to quietly drift along while he thought about his problem.The canoe drifted inshore to a place where the water was only a few inches deep. Looking down he saw that the bottom was crowded with water beetles. As he watched, one of the beetles came to the surface and slowly crawled up the side of the canoe. Finally reaching the top, it grasped fast to the wood and died. DeMille’s thoughts went back to his problem.

About three hours later, he happened to notice the beetle again and saw that, in the hot sun, its shell had become dry and brittle. As he watched, it slowly split open and there emerged from it a new form, a dragonfly, which took to the air out of the old husk, its scintillating colors flashing in the sunlight. That winged insect 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 was in a world beyond their comprehension. They were still living in their limited beetle world while their winged cousin had gained for himself all the freedom between earth and sky.

Later when DeMille told of this experience, he concluded with a very penetrating question, “Why would the great Creator of the universe do that for a water beetle and not for a human being?”

 

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