…in a slow, prolonged, torturous death they had struggled in agony for hours, days, perhaps weeks. And they were the children of Ziedonis [the god of Spring, literal translation: blossom time]: flowers that had come to life and separating from their stems had risen to the sky. But then tormenting man had come and ended that in the most brutal manner. Is there a more unmerciful being than man? I shook with sobs, and I felt as if someone had grabbed my shoulders and was shaking my whole being. Was the Ziedonis himself that now cried with my tears? Had not he taken me by the hand and led me here so I could see what kind of injustice was being done to him? Didn’t he want to tell that behind all beauty hides death, suffering and dread? I too felt as if I had a pin stuck through my heart and I would have to bleed slowly, perhaps my whole life long… What I felt was not only my personal pain but the pain of all nature with which we are organically bound.
And quickly gathering the butterflies in her apron, she tossed them into the blazing furnace. Sudden death was far better than prolonged torture, she reasoned, and she went out to accept her punishment.
-The Latvian writer, Aspazija. Translated by Astrida B. Stahnke.