Early Fargo Business Man Attacked By Giant Blue Mountain Swallowtail Butterfly

September 12th, 2014 | by Johnnny
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Downtown Fargo, September 12, 1924

Fargo, ND – On this date 90 years ago, a Fargo businessman was attacked by a very large butterfly while crossing a street in the downtown area.

The man’s name was Mr. Simon Cummings who owned and operated Cummings Shoe Store.

Witnesses said that while Simon was negotiating some lunch-time puddles from a September rain storm, a giant blue butterfly seemed to attack Mr. Cummings out of nowhere and for no apparent reason.

One of the on-lookers that day was hotel owner Betsy Donaldson, who was quoted as saying: “If I wouldn’t have seen it, I would not have believed it. This will really make me rethink butterflies.”

The butterfly was later determined to be a Blue Mountain Swallowtail butterfly whose scientific name is Papilio Ulysses.

This special type of butterfly is normally found in Australia where they have been known to attack humans for no obvious reason.

NDSU butterfly expert Norman Winger wrote of this incident: “Of course, there is always a reason for things that happen, but we might not ever be able to know what was going through the mind of a giant teal-toned butterfly, in downtown Fargo, on a rainy day in September, in the year 1924.”


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Contributing writer since January, 2013. I've been described by myself as a piano-playing omnivore who hates typos but loves chocolate milk in his coffee. As a Life Coach, some lessons I like to pass onto others are: 1. don't stare at strangers, especially in jail, 2. don't leave fun to find fun, 3. never pet a burning dog, 4. don't eat more than you can lift, and 5. when in doubt, jot it down. Click on any picture in my posts to see them in their full glory. All have been tweaked with either PicMonkey.com or Pixlr.com/Express.