Sunday, November 21, 2010

my caterpillar tale



he entered the gate of the house that he was assigned to maintain. immediately, his eyes caught the uncemented portion of the driveway by the back of the house. as he had suspected, wild grass had grown again over that patch of earth. he remembered having uprooted these grass the last time he came over to inspect. now here they are again. as tall, as green, and more abundant than before. perennial grass, he thought to himself. you're really testing my patience. resilient grass. if ever i could be as adamant as you. he secretly admired the grass. its will to exist. to be.

he knows he has a job to do. he is the caretaker of this house and grass is not allowed to grow. much more wild grass. so he sat down and started pulling at the grass leaves. he realizes he needs to pull hard so even the roots can be extracted from the soil. this will make sure they will not grow again.

the grass is strong. it does not give up without a fight. its roots are well entrenched in the earth. sometimes he needs to pull with both arms. he smelled the scent of fresh grass, cut grass, and he smiled. it smelled good. he felt both his arms getting itchy. the grass leaves have these very minute stingers that pierce his skin and compels him to scratch. it annoys him. he thought of stopping for a while to scratch his arms. he realized this grass has lots of built in defenses to make him think twice about going ahead with his mission to remove it from the soil. the soothing smell, the itchy sting.

soon he is halfway done. he had pulled out a lot of grass. the blackish, wet earth is now exposed. it was then that he noticed these small movements near where he last uprooted grass. caterpillars! lots of them. brownish, hairy little creatures. some are clinging on the leaves of grass he still had not touched. the others that fell to the ground were busily scampering away to safety. crawling, wriggling as fast as they can towards where the clumps of grasses are still abundant. the sun's rays are already quickly drying the exposed damp earth.

he went on with his uprooting. every time he sees that there are caterpillars clinging on the grass leaves, he shakes the leaves and let the creatures fall to the ground. the surprised creatures crawl to where their instincts dictate there is dampness of earth and shade from the sun. but this haven of safety keeps getting smaller as grass keeps on getting removed. some of the caterpillars sought protection from crevices in the adjoining cement wall. some hid behind the rocks but the sun is slowly but surely climbing higher and pretty soon not a thing will not be touched by her scorching rays.

suddenly he heard a voice.

"enough of this, brother!" he looked around. nobody but himself. "down here," he heard the voice again. he shifted his eyes to where his right hand is grasping a clump of grass leaves. he noticed what he thought was the biggest caterpillar he ever saw. it is the caterpillar that's speaking to him.

"i am the elder of this caterpillar clan, my brother," it began again. "may i implore you to spare us these remaining grasses. we need their shade for protection against the sun and for food also. just leave us be for a few more weeks so we can complete our life cycle."

"just a few more weeks!" he answered," by then, these grasses would have grown tenfold again. i cannot permit that. i am the guardian of this abode. i am sorry i have a job to accomplish. it is a duty."

"just spare us some time, my brother, is all we ask. even some of us only need days to complete our life cycle. we will die without food and protection from the sun." the caterpillar elder explained. it felt his hand tighten around the clump of grass leaves he is holding. it felt his strong pull and it saw the grass roots sticking out when he successfully pulled out the grass from the earth. it willingly disengaged itself from the leaves and dropped to the ground. it did not crawl to safety like the rest. it knows no place will be safe now from the heat. it wont be long now. he ignored the elder's plea.

"i'm so sorry," he said and continued with his work, " i must hurry up. i have other things to do."

the caterpillar elder did not reply. it curled itself against a small stone beside it.

pretty soon, he was done. the sun is so high up now overhead. he is also feeling the heat. he looked at his work and admired how well he was able to pluck up all of these annoying grass. they are now all bundled up inside the black plastic trash bags. he carefully stashed these away. this coming saturday he will return. that's when the garbage will be collected by the truck.


saturday. he returned. he was just in time to hear the familiar tooting of the garbage truck. it's approaching the house now. he carried the plastic bags one at a time and placed them outside the gate for collection. when he unmindfully dropped the last bag, it accidentally burst open. out came a small brown butterfly from the trash bag. he was surprised. but it was beautiful.

he heard it speak to him. "i'm the only one who completed the cycle," it told him, "the elder instructed me to tell you, if ever i will survive, you are forgiven. it is our duty to forgive."


after this, it strongly flapped its fragile wings and zigzagged its way past him . . .


he had this sudden longing in his heart to find out where that brave butterfly will go.

4 comments:

Christopher Dos Santos said...

Beautiful story my brother. If someone should stand before me with a gun in hand how should I react? My only wish is that I should be allowed to wash his feet, hug and kiss him, then let him know I accept our dance and cherish his participation. I see no need to forgive, forgiveness is for the ego. Instead we must accept the divinity of all manifest reality, unconditionally we choose only love.

In Lak' esh, my brother, we are eternal consciousness beyond illusions of death...

sito saguid said...

thank you for reminding me about forgiveness still being a function of the ego, brother. you are so right. all that matters is love unconditional. thanks for finding time to read this blog and sharing your wisdom.

Christopher Dos Santos said...

I enjoy your perspectives very much my brother. Your heart fills mine with love and freedom.

In Lak' esh, one mind one love one God...

Mahon said...

bravo, your writings are so always pleasant to read !
I like the philosophy of your texts, it forces reflexion and I like this ! :))

Bye**