There was once a little caterpillar that hatched out of the egg that the mama butterfly had laid on the Oleander plant. Like all other caterpillars, this one proceeded promptly to munch on the leaves of the plant and grow bigger.
All was well until the caterpillar lost its grip and fell down from the plant. We don’t know what caused this but it could have been the rains or heavy winds. The poor caterpillar now didn’t know what to do- it could not climb up the plant and get to its food. It had two choices- to starve and die or worse become food for a lizard or a gecko. Or to pupate. It was a bit too early for pupation- it wasn’t big enough yet, but the caterpillar had no choice. All the odds were stacked against it. So the brave caterpillar now proceeded to the nearest safe plant it could find- a croton- a most unlikely plant for a butterfly- it then crawled along the underside of a protruding leaf and built a pupa around itself and went to sleep.
Whatever happened next was out of its hands. Days passed- the pupa remained attached to the leaf and inside it, the transformation went on- unmindful of all the past trauma- the caterpillar had gone- the consciousness that was still inside dreamed and waited- for the right moment to come out. But nothing happened yet.
One day a human came across this little golden shimmering pupa- she had been chasing another butterfly with her camera and accidentally came across the golden cocoon. She watched the pupa almost every day wondering when the cocoon would turn black and when the butterfly would emerge. She wondered how the caterpillar had gotten so far away from its food plant and how resolutely this tiny creature had wanted to survive. Two other pupae on the oleander plant did not make it- one shriveled away and the other attacked by an insect. Maybe it was the rains that affected the cycles- no one knew.
Things got too close even for our dear little friend when the gardener came around like a blundering elephant and trimmed the wildly grown croton leaves. The humans feared the worst but the pupa had survived on the only protruding leaf the gardener had missed. Taking things into her own hands the human brought the pupa inside the house- where she believed she could protect it from the elements. The cocoon was still a bright shade of gold and so she thought there was still a while to go before the butterfly emerged.
The next morning the humans woke up at 5 and imagine their shock when they noticed a small butterfly sitting next to the cocoon in the box they had kept the pupa in. How did it happen? Once again the humans took it outside to release it back into the garden. All seemed well until about 40 minutes later when it started raining. This was heartbreaking- the butterfly had emerged beating all odds and here was nature piling on more difficulties.
But our butterfly was not to be dettered- she scampered away to avoid the rain and once the sun came out- flew away to face the world.
Miracles happen everyday!