A Caterpillar’s Voice

A Caterpillar's Voice

A Caterpillar's Voice

Illustrated By: Elizabeth Rocha

ONE SUNNY SPRING DAY, Caterpillar was out for a walk in the woods and came upon a cave entrance.  “Will you look at that!” said Caterpillar. “I must say, this looks like a very nice cave.”  Caterpillar peaked in.  “I don't see anyone in there,” he said.  “Maybe I'll just go inside.” So Caterpillar inched inside the cave.

Caterpillar crawled up on the top of a rock and immediately fell asleep.  Now at this very moment, Hare, who actually lived in the cave, was returning home from a walk of his own. Hare noticed marks on the ground that led to inside his cave.  At once, he realized what had happened.  Alarmed, he called out, "Who is in my cave? Answer me!" 

A Caterpillar's Voice

This woke up Caterpillar.  Caterpillar boomed out in a very loud voice, “It is I! Yes, I who crushes rhinos to the earth and who stomps elephants into dust!”  Hare hopped about in fear. “What can a small animal like me do with a beast who crushes rhinos to the earth and stomps elephants into dust?”

Soon Jackal passed by.  Hare said, “Friend Jackal, won't you help me, please?  Some fearsome beast has taken over my cave!  Won't you talk to it and get it to come out?”

Jackal said with confidence, “Of course!  All creatures large and small listen to ME.”  Jackal stepped boldly to the cave and barked, “Who is in the house of my friend, the Hare? Come out at once!”

Caterpillar called out in a voice that rocked the earth, “It is I! Yes, I who crushes rhinos to the earth, and stomps elephants into dust!”

On hearing this, Jackal thought in fear, “I can do nothing against such a creature!”  Before Hare could say a word, Jackal had dashed into the bushes.

Then Leopard passed by.  Hare frantically told Leopard everything that had happened, and begged Leopard to help.  Leopard said, “That's no problem at all!  I'm bigger than Jackal and louder, too.”  At the door of the cave, Leopard bared her claws and growled a terrible growl. “Who is in the house of my friend Hare?”  Caterpillar called back in the same way he had done before.

Leopard bared his claws and growled a terrible growl, "Who is in the house of my friend Hare?"

Leopard did not expect such a scary response! She thought, “If this creature crushes rhinos to the earth and stomps elephants to dust, I don't even want to think what he could do to me!”  Leopard was off in the blink of an eye.

Next Rhino passed by. He had heard part of what had just taken place.  “Crush rhinos, he says?  Who does he think he is?We'll see what he has to say to ME.”  Rhino marched up to Hare’s cave, snorting and pawing the ground with his massive feet. But when Rhino asked who was inside the cave and he heard Caterpillar’s booming reply, he cried out, “This is worse than I thought!  I'm not sticking around to get crushed to earth!” Rhino thundered away, crashing through the forest. 

A Caterpillar's Voice

Even Elephant tried to help. But like the others, when Elephant heard Caterpillar's loud threat, he knew he had no wish to be stomped underfoot like dust.  You'd be surprised how fast elephants can run when they want to.

Frantic with despair, Hare did not know what to do.  Frog passed by.  “What's wrong?” said Frog, and Hare explained the whole sad situation. 

“Maybe I can help,” said Frog. 

“If only you could!” said Hare.  “But Jackal tried to help.  Leopard tried to help.  Even Rhino and Elephant tried to help.  And none of them could, so I hardly suppose a small creature like you, if you don't mind my saying so, could do anything.”

“I don't mind your saying so,” said Frog. “But just the same, I'd like to try.”

Jackal, Leopard, Rhino and Elephant heard their names spoken and they came up see what was going on.  “What, YOU'RE going to try to get that beast out the cave?" said Jackal, pointing at the little Frog. “You'll be crushed in a second!” laughed Rhino.  The rest of the animals joined in the laughter.

"But Frog wants to," said Hare. “I may as well let him try.”

The rest of the animals joined in the laughter.

Frog stepped up to the cave door and asked who was inside. She received the same booming reply that was given to the others. Then Frog stepped closer and shouted, “I, who am the strongest of all, have come at last. I am the one who crushes those who crush the rhinos! I am the one who stomps underfoot those who stomp the elephants!”

When Caterpillar heard this, he trembled. He could see the shadow of Frog coming closer and closer.  He thought, “After all, I'm only a caterpillar!” And Caterpillar inched out of Hare’s cave, hoping that no one would see him. But see him, they did!

“A caterpillar of MY breeding would never DREAM of staying in THAT cave!” said Caterpillar with his nose in the air. “An echo like that is far too crude for an elegant creature like me!”

A Caterpillar's Voice

As Caterpillar sniffed away, all the other animals laughed at the trouble such a small creature had given them.



Posted in 5min Bedtime Stories, Africa, Audio Stories, Bedtime Stories, English Story for Kids, Kenya/Tanzania, STORIES FOR KIDS, World Tales and tagged , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *