Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Caterpillar and Bird

Two Friends Learning How to Fly

A long time ago, there was a young bird couple living in a beautiful nest on a chestnut tee. The couple was in love and ready to have children. So they decided to build a bigger nest on a taller tree, to have space for the two babies to come. As young mother bird sat on top off the eggs, papa bird would leave to collect material for the new nest.

On an autumn day, the wind was howling and shaking around the twigs and branches making mama bird clinch her wings around the eggs. Mother bird had gotten worried when papa bird had wanted to leave for his daily quest. She had asked him to stay and told him it might be too dangerous that day. But papa bird was stubborn because he knew of the importance of finishing their new home. It was the night the baby birds were supposed to hatch. He told mother bird not to worry, and said he would be back before nightfall to pick up her and the eggs, so the babies could hatch comfortably. As soon as papa bird left, the wind had gotten more aggressive, and rain started pouring down the leaves leaving mother bird trembling and wet. Mother nature didn't mean well that day, and soon the storm came closer, and developed into a thunderstorm right above them. Right as she was trying to tell herself everything was going to be ok, lightning struck the tree she was on. The owl said they all died that night...

But that wasn’t the case for all of them. One of the baby birds survived. He had hatched on the floor, and lived in that very spot for sometime. Until one day a caterpillar crossed his way. Caterpillar asked bird to come join him on his journey. Bird was happy to have found a friend, and together they were striving through the forest. They helped each other find food, and kept each other warm on cold, cold nights. They told each other stories when the moon was covered by the clouds so they didn’t have to be scared of the darkness.

One day, after a day of wandering through the woods, bird had gotten tired, and asked caterpillar to rest and build their camp for the night. Caterpillar was way ahead of bird. He turned around at birds request, and noticed something in bird’s eyes he had never seen before. He knew something wasn’t right. Bird told him, that he didn’t want to have to hide anymore, and that living on the ground had taken a toll on him, because of the dangers they would find themselves in every night. He told caterpillar, that it would be better for them to look for something more permanent. Something high up in the trees possibly, so that they wouldn’t have to be worried about being eaten by the other animals that also lived in the forest. Caterpillar hesitated, because he took a liking on the exciting life style they have had. He liked the thrill of the night, making him proud that they could survive on the ground. However, he was tired himself and asked bird to follow him up the oak tree that was right ahead of them.

And there they were, enjoying the feeling of comfort living high up in the oak tree giving them the feeling of a new found home. On days caterpillar was tired, bird went down to bring up some food. Other days, bird was tired or just feeling like being lazy, and caterpillar did the same. On their search for food, they would always pass the owl, and casually talk to her.

Although, nothing seemed different that spring day, and it was a nice was a sunny day indeed, caterpillar was bothered by something. He told bird he would go out to find some food. And so he left thinking of what it could be that was bothering him. The owl could tell that caterpillar was in deep thoughts, and asked him what was going on. Caterpillar wasn’t sure, but said that he missed the exciting life on the ground, but also enjoyed life on the tree. He said he was getting too comfortable, and in a way he felt like he had gotten dependent on his friend bird. Owl responded that the dependency he was feeling did not have to be negative, and that he just needed to find a balance. But caterpillar didn’t know how to. Owl explained that it was important to do some things on one’s own sometimes, and that once they would do that, they could enjoy the comfort of their home even more. It is not bad to feel safe, owl added.

When caterpillar returned, he had a strange feeling accompanying him. He asked bird why he never tried to fly. Bird said he didn’t know how to, and also didn’t see the need for it. But caterpillar told him, that he thought it was important to try new things, and do them on their own. Bird didn’t understand why, and asked caterpillar instead, why he had not turned into a butterfly yet. Caterpillar said he didn’t know how to.

The next day, caterpillar woke up very early. He had trouble getting a good night rest, and told bird he was going to find some food again, although it had been bird’s turn that day. Bird was ok with letting him go, and enjoyed the day in the tree. Caterpillar was almost at the bottom, when he shouted up, that bird should practice flying in the meantime. But bird didn’t feel like it, and was lying on his back, staring into the clouds turning them into pictures of things he liked. He had a good day doing that, and when caterpillar returned, he just wanted to tell him what kind of shapes he had seen in the clouds. Caterpillar wasn’t really listening, but only felt disappointment for the fact that bird had refused to practice what he had told him to.

Weeks had passed, and their friendship started crumbling. They barely talked, and caterpillar turned into the provider who brought food every day. One day, he was so tired and mad at the fact that he was doing all the work that he yelled at bird, saying that he should have learnt how to fly. Bird said that he would, but he was just not ready yet. That angered caterpillar even more, and he turned around in such a rough manner, that his turn had hit bird on his back and almost pushed him off the tree. Bird was able to hold on to a branch with one wing, screaming for help. But caterpillar felt paralyzed. Unable to move, bird slipped and fell down to the ground, but right as he was about to hit, his wings stared flapping, and he could hold himself up a few seconds to catch his fall.

When he landed, and his first landing was rough, he looked up the tree. Caterpillar was still not moving, and because he was upset that caterpillar made him fall, he decided to leave him. Every day, from that day on he was flying. At first a few feet, then some yards and later on he was able to fly around all day. He had thought about caterpillars words, and wished he would have started flying earlier. He felt very comfortable in the air, and was able to move from tree to tree. Every tree he rested at was different, and he enjoyed the freshness of finding new places to go to every day.

Caterpillar had waited for birds return, but one day realized that it was not going to happen. He did not want to be reminiscent of his old friend, and the tree was a constant reminder of his loneliness. Driven by his voracious appetite, he walked and walked so far, eating everything he had found on his way. Until he had to slow down, because he had felt so full, that he became incapable of moving. Not knowing how many days he went along like that, he fell asleep. When he woke up the next day, his life had changed. He had finally turned into a butterfly, and just like bird, his first tries flying were clumsy, but soon he became stable and able to fly around like he had never done anything else.

He flew back to the oak tree he used to live in with bird. As he got to the top, he noticed a flower on the ground. Bird had liked flowers, and the view reminded him of his friend. With the memory of his old friend coming back, the feeling of guilt for the night their ways had parted, came up with it. Butterfly felt the need to escape, and started flying, with no sense of direction. Hey, shouted someone in the tree. It was owl. They had a chat, and butterfly told him how guilty he had felt about what had happened, and complained about how lonely he felt without bird. Owl had told him, that the dependency caterpillar had once complained about was not a dependency, but the need for a friend. Owl had told him to look for his old friend. But caterpillar was doubtful and did not know how bird could forgive him. Just ask for forgiveness, you are a butterfly now, and you have learnt from the past, responded owl.

A year later, owl had noticed two objects in the air. They were floating with such lightness that he was wondering what kind of birds they were. As the objects came closer, he realized it was butterfly and bird. They had found each other again. Hello, shouted owl. Butterfly and bird greeted friendly, and told owl about their new adventurous life. Yes, we like moving from place to place, and it is allot easier to do that in the air, said butterfly. There are too many risks on the ground added bird, and they both left happy to have found each other again. This time we will never part they said and left...

The owl said that one may never force someone to do something. He also said that one may never take a friendship for granted. And so, owl still lives in the same tree, waiting for friends to ask for advice...

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