It was a beautiful Spring day, blue skies and not a cloud in sight. Sun was bright in the Northern sky, glinting off tiny eggs lining soft Milkweed in the hedgerow. A kindly cow, stood watching. She had seen this magic many times before.
From the eggs little hatchlings emerged. Not birds, nor snakes but caterpillars. Hungry, they scattered over the leaves that had housed their homes and started to munch. They were voraciously hungry and intent on feeding empty bellies.
Apart from one. The little caterpillar started at the sight of the cow. The cow gave a low, reassuring ‘moo’. ‘Hello, youngster. Welcome to the world, my name is MayBelle’.
Shyly the caterpillar retreated under a leaf. Each day the cow would amble over and say ‘Hello’. The caterpillar grew to love the warm greetings from such a magnificent beast. The cow would gently lower her head and let the caterpillar crawl onto her soft neck. They would both go for a wander across Ten Acre field and down to the babbling brook. The cow would take a long drink of pure Spring water and the caterpillar would watch the silver and gold of darting fish.
‘Dearest MayBelle, can I feel the water like you do? Can I swim like the fishes too?’
‘Not yet, M’Dear. But one day you will.’
The days and nights were full of delight. And MayBelle showed the young caterpillar many things. She spoke of life and love, beginnings, endings, both the Goddess and God above, Mother Earth and Father Sky. For being a wise cow, she had sought teaching from many sources and was not afraid to ask questions. A gift she passed to the little caterpillar.
One day MayBelle wandered over to the clumps of Ragwort the little Caterpillar had made home. Only to see the cycle of life had moved on. The wheel of the year began to turn again and her friend had entered into a deep sleep, wrapped in a warm cocoon. She smiled, knowing she had taught her pupil well.
The long sleep ended and the little caterpillar emerged. Refreshed and energised from such a deep and nourishing rest. And there was MayBelle, waiting.
The sun felt so good and the little Caterpillar basked in the warmth of both the celestial orb and her friend’s love. A sparrow hawk took to the wing and riding on the warm air currents glided gracefully across an azure sky. ‘Oh how I wish I could fly! MayBelle, do you wish you could fly too?’ ‘Why, M’Dear, you can fly, just spread your beautiful wings and try! And as for me? Once you fly free, know my spirit will be with you and so I will fly too. ‘
The little caterpillar climbed on MayBelle’s soft face and the kindly cow wandered to the stream. ‘Look, M’Dear, what do you see? The things I taught you have come to be!’ In the glistening water, the little caterpillar caught sight of a beautiful butterfly, delicate wings fluttering in the breeze.
In awe she asked ‘Is that me?’ ‘Go fly! Fly high, fly low. There is much to know. I always told you M’Dear there is so much more than we can see, so much more that we can be…’
~Eily Nash Find my books on