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Caterpillar drawing

I am a huge fan of Roald Dahl, particularly his ‘Revolting Rhymes’ book which is a ghoulish rewrite of the best known fairy tales. I rewrote this piece today with his humour in mind.

A Caterpillar’s Tale

The caterpillar in this tale

is one of a colossal scale

with scarlet spots upon moss green

the deepest red you’ve ever seen.

So big and wide he ruled the brood

with shoves and pokes that were so rude

that made the others stay away

from day to night and night to day.

All day he sat and ate, and ate

without the manners of a plate,

chewing young leaves and buds with glee

while tearing bark from every tree.

And so he grew, expanded out

so all his legs were red with gout

and each step made his body shake

that caused the tree to bend and quake.

One dusk he found himself alone

his stomach heavy as a stone

the brood was gone, vanished from sight

enclosed in pods the shade of night.

Caught out mid-chew a whisper swirled

from all around came cracks that whirled

and filled the calm and balmy air

in a cacophony with flair.

With mouth ajar he stopped and gazed

as each pod ripped and quite amazed,

then out they clambered one by one

their transformed bodies set to stun.

Without a glance they all took flight

filling the sky with hues so bright,

in a flurry of patterned wings

that belonged on a cloak of kings.

Right above the caterpillar’s head

the brood flapped hard before they fled

and threw our bully from the tree

to plummet through the canopy.

With a loud plop he hit the ground

and made a hole so large and round,

with legs akimbo his temper flared

and high into the clouds he stared.

“So long you fools,” he shouted out,

“you will regret I have no doubt

what you choose to leave behind,

Hip, Hip, Hooray; it’s finally mine!”

From forest floor he watched them go

oblivious to a large shadow

of an old and wily crow

in need of a morsel to swallow.

And so here ends our larvae’s tale

a story of colossal scale,

where just this once the greedy lose

and have to walk in another’s shoes.