The Caterpillar Who Changed

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There was time when little worm-like creatures you now call caterpillars never changed into butterflies. They were born, had their babies, and eventually died as caterpillars all the way through. But then it all changed.

There was this young caterpillar once. Life was nice to it. Day in and day out all was same. All was safe. Many other caterpillars munched away on the leaves, chatting happily to each other. So it went until one day our caterpillar looked around and thought: “I’ve been a caterpillar long enough. Time to be something else.”

The caterpillar didn’t know WHAT it wanted to be yet. “Something completely different!“ – it thought. Deep in its mind it had a vague idea of something colourful and airy. Full of grace. And, oh, yes! It didn’t want to be eating leaves any more (it was rather full of leaves by now). AND it didn’t want to be crawling about in this fat slow body of its for much longer.

Having come thus far in its thoughts, the caterpillar very wisely decided to sleep on it. It didn’t want to be interrupted while having the most important snooze of its life. And so, it made a very strong and cosy bed which went all the way AROUND it. “Hum! How very innovative!” – it thought, and decided to call it a Cocoon.

With the cocoon ready, it went into a long sleep.

Meanwhile it rained outside. Really hard. So hard, that for a while water covered all the land, and the caterpillars didn’t make it. They drowned all. Except one.

The one which was sleeping safely inside the cocoon, having colourful dreams of a new life. The water carried the cocoon, throwing it in all directions, up and down, hoping to smash it against the floating bits of trees. But the cocoon was made so sturdy and light, that it simply bobbed on the surface, giving our caterpillar dreamy ideas of flight.

Eventually the rain was over. Angry currents turned into tame friendly streams. On the bank of one of those streams lay a little brown parcel. The Sun came out and helped the Life to tidy up the mess. All was back to normal and even more beautiful.

The caterpillar now had a pretty good idea of what it wanted to be, but it wasn’t sure HOW it was to do it. “Anyway, time to come out“, it thought, and took a deep breath…

The small brown parcel on the bank of a stream burst open. Out of it came rather a dazed unknown creature. It sat there trying to figure out where it was and what it was. Everything was so different! For one thing, its’ body changed completely. Also it had something wrinkled and wet stuck on the back of it. Trying to see it better, the creature unfolded the things. Wow! Beautiful wings with a colourful pattern. It buttered them cautiously and flue in the air! “I am a butterfly!” – it decided.

Flying carelessly up high, a butterfly noticed some beautiful things of various colours, which smelled very nice. It decided to have a rest on one of them. At that very time the butterfly felt hungry, and realised, that it can drink the flower juice using it’s new long spout! “Great! No more leaves for me then!” – it said.

When time came for a butterfly to have babies, it saw, that they were caterpillars. Which brought back to the butterfly all the happy memories of its’ childhood. The little caterpillars were very curious about the world, but most of all they were curious about themselves, of course. “Mummy, who are we?” – they asked. “Why we are not like you?”
“My darling little children. You are caterpillars now as I myself used to be. But in due time you might choose to change. And you can.”

And so it went since then, that caterpillars have a choice – stay a caterpillar or become a butterfly.

Marina Kim

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