The tiny egg hatched, and the monarch caterpillar made its way along the leaf, eating as it went.
Each day it grew larger, consuming the milkweed plant. Soon it was big enough to be seen, but protected by the parent plant’s sap, it was safe. Any bird that had ever eaten a monarch caterpillar found the meal so bitter-tasting that it would never eat another.
Day by day the caterpillar grew, and so did its appetite. Everywhere it went it left behind destruction. More and more of the milkweed plant was consumed, until one day the caterpillar realized that its actions were very damaging. It cried out to be forgiven, and to change
Soon thereafter the caterpillar began to feel very differently about its world. One day it fell fast asleep and dreamed of a different life – one where it was free of its old damaging ways and could bring joy into the lives of everyone he met. Waking from his sleep he was anxious to begin the new life he had dreamed of.
But trying to move he felt trapped. He pushed and pressed and fought to break free, but the hardened shell he had made for himself was hard to get out of! At first he was in darkness, but as he struggled, his shell began to crack, and light began to enter. With the struggle, he became stronger, and more and more light replaced the darkness. Soon he began to see that he not only felt different…he WAS different.
In time, he totally came out of his shell. Working to unfold his wings took yet more work and there were times that he cried out for the strength to carry on. But before long, with the sun shining on him, he was ready for a brand new journey.
Leaving the past behind, he flapped his wings.