Sunday, October 14, 2012
Once upon a time there was a fat hairy caterpillar who fell in love with the moon.
“Moon, Moon, beautiful Moon,” he called to her. “Come here to me.”
But the moon just looked down coldly at the caterpillar from high in the sky and didn’t answer him.
“How can I get the moon to come to me?” wondered the caterpillar.
He went to the forest and there he saw a tree. It was so tall that its branches seemed to be brushing the sky.
“Tree, Tree,” he said. “Give me your tall trunk so I can make a ladder to climb up to the moon.”
“Even the longest ladder will never reach the moon,” said the tree.
“No,” said the caterpillar. “But when the moon sees me climbing up so high to get to her, she will know how much I love her and she will come down to meet me. ”
“I can’t give you my trunk,” said the tree. “It has already been promised to make a telephone pole.” But the tree felt sorry for the caterpillar and threw down some small pieces of bark and a little of its soft creamy pollen and the caterpillar picked these up and put them carefully away.
Then the caterpillar went down to the lake and there he saw a kingfisher, hovering over the water. In the sunlight its blue wings looked like little blue flames.
“Kingfisher, Kingfisher,” said the caterpillar.” Give me your wings so I can fly up to the moon.”
“Even the strongest wings will never reach the moon,” said the kingfisher.
“No,” said the caterpillar.” But when the moon sees me flying so high to get to her she will know how much I love her and come to meet me.”
“I can’t give you my wings,” said the kingfisher. “I need them, because I have to fly all day over the water to catch my dinner. Fish is scarce these days”
But the kingfisher felt sorry for the caterpillar and threw down a few bright blue feathers and the caterpillar picked them up and put them carefully away.
Then the caterpillar looked up at the sky. It was evening and the setting sun had coloured the clouds all pink and mauve.
“Sky, Sky,” said the caterpillar. “Give me one of your clouds so I can get on it and float up to the moon.”
“Even the lightest cloud will never reach the moon,” said the sky.
“No,” said the caterpillar.” But when the moon sees me floating up so high to get to her she will know how much I love her and come down to meet me.”
‘I can’t give you a cloud,” said the sky. “They are needed to make rain to fill the dams. There is a shortage of water everywhere.”
But the sky felt sorry for the caterpillar and threw down just a little bit of pink cloud and the caterpillar picked it up and put it carefully away.
“If no one will help me,” said the caterpillar. “I’ll just have to help myself.” So he took some thread that he always kept in his mouth and twisted it round and round himself to make a cocoon, the way you make a ball of string by winding it round your hand. Inside the cocoon he set to work. He took the fluffy pink cloud and the papery, brown bark and the shiny blue feathers and the fine creamy pollen and he mixed them and put them all together to make the most beautiful wings. Then he took the wings and fastened them onto his body.
When he was done he broke open the cocoon and stepped out. He spread out his wings and they shimmered in the moonlight. Then he flew away, up, up towards the moon.
Now sometimes if you go out at night you may see him fluttering excitedly round a street lamp. He is happy because he thinks it is the moon, come to meet him at last.