Sunday, 21 March 2010

Caterpillar & Tadpole

The other day, a colleague of mine shared an entertaining story she had read from a children's picture book:

Once upon a time, there was a tadpole that was in love with a caterpillar.  They were practically joined at the hip.  All was well until one day, Caterpillar vanished from the face of the earth.   Tadpole was heartbroken.  Unbeknown to Tadpole, Caterpillar had hidden herself away in a cocoon.  Tadpole focused so intently on searching for his love that he was unaware of the physical changes occurring to his body - the gradual disappearance of his tail and the growth of limbs.  

Eventually, a beautiful butterfly pushed her way out of the cocoon and soared into the air.  She had not forgotten about her great love.  She flew around the forest, asking all creatures great and small if they had seen her Tadpole.  

'No,' came the answer.  Feeling distraught, she continued on her quest and encountered a frog.  

'Excuse me Mr Frog, I'm looking for my...'  Butterfly did not get the chance to finish her question as the frog captured the butterfly with his extended tongue and swallowed her.

I laughed when I heard the ending.  But then, I had a thought.  Essentially, Tadpole and Caterpillar's love for one another had not diminished.  The only obstacle was their transformed external shells.

What about us?  Would we get so caught up with external appearances that we fail we recognise our soulmate?

Image: renjith krishnan /

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