The Butterfly Parable

Two caterpillars were born on the same day. These two were best of friends and often played competitive games each trying to outdo the other.

One said to the other, “I will be the biggest, strongest most beautiful caterpillar in all the woodlands. I will climb higher than any caterpillar has ever climbed.” The friend replied, “Well we shall see about that” while thinking, “But I will be the wisest.”

So early one morning they both started at the base of a tree and began climbing and eating, eating and climbing, branch after branch and leaf after leaf. Each was getting bigger and stronger as they climbed higher and higher.

At mid-day, the wiser friend suddenly stopped eating or climbing and attached to a branch upside down. Using the food that had been eaten all morning it began making a covering for its body that hardened giving it protection.

The other arrogant friend continued to eat and climb, laughing at such foolish behavior.  “Certainly my friend will lose this challenge.”

Neither of the competitors was aware that danger was afoot. At the bottom of the tree, a hungry snake was in search of its next meal. The snake quickly slithered upward with its eye fixed on the movement of a busy caterpillar high in the tree and its next meal.

The snake slithered right past the well-protected caterpiller that was still and unnoticeable. Once the snake reached the caterpillar high in the tree it was over in one deadly strike.

In time, the hard protective shell began to crack and break away freeing the beautifully transformed insect, now a butterfly. Its beautiful delicate wings moved in the breeze while the sun rays warmed them through the trees.

After experiencing this new sensation, gaining strength, and recognizing its new opportunities, boldly it began to fly. With each flap of its wings, it gained altitude. It flew past the snake at a safe distance and continued to fly free. It had become the biggest, strongest and most beautiful in all the woodlands-proving that when you apply wisdom to your actions you will achieve all that you desire and more.