Ant and the Butterfly In your backyard there is a tree. And inside that tree there used to live a colony of ants. They would toil through the day, collecting food, building their nest, taking care of the queen, and pretty much doing the same thing every day. The ants never put any thought into their work, and although there were the most efficient of all the animals, they were also the most unweildy. One day one of the ants was walking along a twig when it saw something move on the leaf ahead of it. The ant was not curious, because ants never are, but it did have a job to do, and that job brought it right to that leaf. The ant marched straight up to the thing and sternly asked it to move. "Please get out of my way," said the ant "I am looking for food""Well, there is food all around." said the creature. The ant looked behind the creature, under the leaf, around the branch, and everywhere else it could, but it didn't see any food. "I am afraid you are mistaken." The ant said. "Oh no," said the creature with a soft voice, "it is right here. In fact, you are standing on it." The ant jumped quickly to the side and looked to where he had just been standing. But when he looked, there was nothing there. "I see no food." said the ant. "But it is right under you." said the creature. "You are a foolish animal." said the ant "There is nothing here but this leaf." "Exactly." said the creature, then he took a big bite out of the leaf. "What kind of creature eats leaves?" asked the ant. "Why, a caterpillar does." said the creature. "And what is a caterpillar?" asked the ant. "You silly thing, I am a caterpillar!" said the caterpillar with a giggle. "Well, what does a caterpillr do?" asked the ant. "Do?" said the caterpillar. "A caterpillar doesn't do anything. A caterpillar just is." Surely you must do something/" the ant could not believe that a creature did not do anything. "Well, I eat." said the caterpillar. "Oh, oh yeah. And I sleep too." "All you do is eat and sleep?" asked the ant "What a waste." "Well," said the caterpillar in a soft voice. "I don't think it is a waste." "Well, I don't expect a creature like you to know very much." said the ant. "One day, though, I will be something special. Something beautiful, something great!" exclaimed the caterpillar in a brave little voice. "Just you wait and see." "Pshaw!" said the ant. Then he left in search of some food, not giving a single thought to the caterpillar again. Some time passed before the ant had to come back to that twig again. But when he did he came across something that he hadn't ever seen before. It looked like a caterpillar, but it was bigger than any caterpillar that he had ever seen. "Who are you?" he asked. It is I, your old friend." the caterpillar said. "Ants don't have friends," the ant said "they are a waste of time." "Well, I am still me." said the caterpillar. "But how is it that you are so big?" said the ant. "I don't know, this is just how big I got from eating." said the caterpillar. "Well, it's not right," said the ant. "for things to change like that. Everything needs to run in a certain order, and they can't if something is always changing." "I am about to make the biggest change there is!" said the caterpillar happily. " I am going to become a butterfly!" "No, you're not." said the ant. "You are a caterpillar. You were born a caterpillar, and you will die a caterpillar." "You just wait and see. In a few weeks I will be a lovely butterfly." Then the caterpillar started building a coocoon for itself. "Silly animal." said the ant with a grunt. Then he went off in search of food for the colony. About three weeks passed before the ant came back to that particular twig. It was looking for food again, because that was all he ever did, when he noticed the coocoon. As he stared at it, the coocoon began to break open. As the ant watched, something began to crawl out of it. A tall creature with a skinny body, big colorful wings, long antennae, and six long legs emerged and stood before him. With a voice like the tinkling of the wind, it said "Wel, if it isn't my old friend, the ant." "And don't have friends. And even if they did, I'm afraid I don't know you." said the ant. "Yes you do, you silly animal. It is I, the caterpillar!" "No, it is not. Things do not change like that." said the ant in a gruff voice. "But I did it, I changed." said the butterfly. "And I will prove it. The first time we met, you were standing on my food." Then the ant knew that it really was the caterpillar in front of him. But he would not believe that the caterpillar had changed, and he said so. "I am afraid you are wrong," said the butterfly. "Did I have wings before?" "No." said the ant. "And did I have antannae before?" asked the butterfly. "No." said the ant. "And could I do this before?" asked the butterfly. Then it flapped its beautiful wings and lifted into the air. "No." said the ant "But none of those things matter. Changes do not happen like that. You were born a caterpillar, you are a caterpillar, and you will die a caterpillar." "You silly thing," said the butterfly "You are too blind to accept that some things really do change, and I am one of those things. Because you don't want to see the changes, you don't see them. You will always think of me as a caterpillar, because that is what you want me to be. I know that ants do not change. And ant is born an ant, and an ant will die an ant. But I am different from you. I was born a caterpillar, but now I am a butterfly!" And with that the butterfly lifted off into the air and desappeared from sight. "You are still a caterpillar." said the ant with a huff, then he began looking for food. For the next couple of weeks, every time the ant would see the butterfly, he would call to it and say, "You are still a caterpillar!" But the butterfly never let it get him down. He lived a great life, much better than the one he had lived as a caterpillar. One day, as the butterfly ws floating on a breeze, he saw a shadow pass below him. He turned around just in time to see a bird streaking toward him! He started flapping his wings as fast as he could, but the bird was faster! As the bird got closer and closer, the butterfly tried harder and harder to get away. Suddenly the bird was right behind him! Just as the bird snapped its beak, the butterfly swerved to the side. The beak missed the butterfly's body, but it did get one of his wings.... The butterfly fell and fell until is landed on the same branch that it had made its coocoon on all those months before. As it lay there on the branch it heard familiar footsteps tromping down the branch. As its friend the ant stood over him, the butterfly let out its last words. "I was born a caterpillar, but I died a butterfly." As the ant walked away its only thought was "You are not a butterfly, you are a caterpillar."