A story read at our May 16 White Eagle Family Service on the theme of ‘Green Leaves’.

What a special day it was! The first cuckoo had just been heard, the sky larks were singing overhead and the trees were suddenly all covered in beautiful green leaves, even the majestic old oaks and the graceful ash trees who were always the last trees to wake up out of their winter sleep had brought forth their fresh green leaves!

Father Sun's warm rays were shining down upon Mother Earth, and it seemed as if all nature was sighing with contentment as the warm rays touched the hearts of all.caterpillar

On such a day a tiny, tiny caterpillar hatched out of his egg with a wriggle and a pop! The sunlight seemed awfully bright but right in front of him were some wonderfully juicy green leaves. Mmmm… he thought…… I’m hungry, and he began munching the leaves. He found how delicious they were, and found he just couldn’t stop munching. So many green leaves and each one just so SO tasty! He ate and he ate and he ate and soon he grew to be quite plump.

Now it so happened that one day he stopped eating just for a moment. By now he had got used to the brightness of the sun and so he took a moment to look around him. To his amazement, he noticed that there were other creatures who could fly, and who wore beautiful colours. They flew up into the sunlight, and seemed to be worshipping the sun. It was a magic moment………how had he never looked up before….? Such beauty……From then onwards a wish began to grow in the caterpillar’s heart. He wished that he too could fly so that he could bring the sunlight to other creatures, who might be otherwise too busy to see it.

Every day the little light in his heart grew stronger with his wish. Father Sun and Mother Earth noticed what was happening, and Father Sun sent a sun fairy to watch over him. Mother Earth spoke to him and said, Little caterpillar, there is a way for you to fulfil your wish.’

‘But how can a fat little caterpillar like me ever fly?’ asked the caterpillar.

‘You need to hold fast to your wish, and have great courage, and keep on keeping on. ‘replied Mother Earth. ‘With love in your heart you will succeed.’

Many days and nights passed, and still the caterpillar wondered how he could possibly change, and if his wish would ever come true. Then one day he heard Mother Earth's voice softly speaking to him once again. He instantly stopped munching in order to be able to listen very carefully.

‘You must spin yourself a white, silky garment,’ said Mother Earth. You can spin the light from your very own heart, and it will form a cocoon or shell to keep you safe whilst your body changes.’

The caterpillar did so wish to be able to bring the light of Father Sun to the creatures of the earth so straightaway he began trying to spin the light from his heart - At first he was a little anxious, but then he heard the voice of the sun fairy telling him that all was well – that it really was a beautiful thing to change and grow and soon he found it was easy to spin the thread of light from his heart. In no time at all he was wrapped in a cloak of silky white.

Inside he found himself becoming sleepier and sleepier, and just as he was about to fall into a deep sleep he heard the words of Mother Earth once again

‘Now your heart is your home, ‘spoke Mother Earth kindly. Have courage and know that your angel is very close to you. He knows your heart, and is now helping you to change…….’And so the caterpillar held fast to his heart's wish.... as he fell asleep and the days and nights passed........

One day Father Sun, who had been watching closely, asked the sun fairy to deliver the message that all was now ready for the dear little caterpillar to gently wake up leave the little shelter he had made. As he awoke he felt that his cocoon was very cramped and stuffy. He wriggled and stretched and suddenly found that his silken house just fell away.

How different he felt- and to his amazement he looked around and saw that he now had two beautiful wings of coloured light. Carefully he began to unfurl his wings – oh how good it felt.. They were like the petals of a flower, colourful and delicate, yet they felt strong in the sunlight. Suddenly a little puff of wind lifted him up into the air and he found himself flying.

How his heart sang with joy. ‘Thank you Father Sun and Mother Earth!’ he sang. ‘Thank you, thank you!’

And so the caterpillar, who was now a butterfly, flew from blossom to blossom, bringing rays of joy and sunlight into the hearts of all who saw him.

There is a little rhyme about a caterpillar, which can be said whilst walking in a spiral, then flying out as butterflies..

Caterpillar wind about,
Round and round and in and out.

When you're fed, come spin your bed,

Go to sleep, deep sleep.

As a caterpillar die,

Waken as a butterfly.