Madam Butterfly is in love with Selma’s beauty

Published 2:50pm Monday, July 29, 2013

For Mallieve Breeding, Selma is where she was born, where she was raised and where she was able to “convince” her husband to move back to after a distinguished career in the United States Air Force; a decision she said he never regretted after again falling in love with the Queen City.

Known to most as Madam Butterfly for her education work at local schools teaching about butterflies, developing butterfly gardens and helping the city of Selma become known as the Butterfly Capital of Alabama, Breeding now looks at Selma in a completely different way.

madam_butterfly_forweb“I never fully appreciated how beautiful Selma really was until we moved back,” Breeding said. “Just the buildings. We have a gorgeous downtown, don’t we?”

In her home — a home designed and built by her husband — are decorative butterfly pillows, many of them gifts. There’s wall covered in artwork, some with pictures of butterflies.

And, on the coffee table sits a mason jar, with what any unexpecting visitor would assume was a real butterfly. But, in this case, it’s a battery-operated butterffly that reacts each time you tap on the glass, just as a real butterfly would.

“Isn’t that wonderful,” Breeding said. “It looks so real. Acts so real. It was a gift and I love it.”

During her time away from Selma, traveling the country and the world — including a stop on a small Pacific Island base — as her husband served in the Air Force, Breeding focused on supporting him and raising their children.

Today, she remains very engaged, supporting local art associations and participating in community events as much as she can.

“We have so many artists — so many talented artists — in Selma who do great work,” Breeding said, who attended Huntingdon College with her dear friend Kathryn Tucker Windham.

Breeding is named after her grandmother, but changed the spelling of her name early in her elementary school years.

“Well, it was originally MallieV, with the capital ‘V,’” Breeding said. “So it got to be a problem with some and it was hard to explain, so I changed it to Mallieve to make it easier on everyone.”

And what are her thoughts on the title of Madam Butterfly?

“Well it really doesn’t matter what people call me, as long as they have a smile on their face when they say it,” Breeding said.

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