Not everything was hard, of course. The pleasures and beauties far outweighed the challenges. And the food here was magnificent.
No, the difficulties were just another variety of experience, and as he mastered each one, he learned its secrets and built his skills. All in all, it had been an excellent journey.
Now the hours of light were shrinking with every passing day. The urge to spin a cocoon was growing strong. It would be the final and grandest phase of his adventure and he hungered for it mightily.
But over the course of his caterpillar life, he had developed a special fondness for the bud of a certain flower, and he wanted one last taste of it before he moved on. He had to search awhile to find the plant where the buds grew. They were way at the top, and it would be a long climb, taking every last ounce of his caterpillar strength.
The day was windy and he had to grip the stem with all his might as he inched his way slowly to the top. Rains came and pelted him and it was all he could do to hang on. But he kept the vision of the nectar-filled buds before him as he fought his way forward. He could feel the texture of their curled little wrappers and taste the honey of the sweet little petals nestled inside.
At last they were within reach, and with his very last bit of energy, the valiant little caterpillar climbed to the topmost one and rested his head on its roundness, breathing in its beautiful scent. And there he slept for awhile, bathed in the bud’s fragrance, the satisfaction of victory coursing through his dreams.