Butterflies: Hope for the caterpillars

Book cover for Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus

Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus

While we’re still fresh with images of butterflies…

‘How does one become a butterfly?’ she asked pensively.

‘You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.’

~ Trina Paulus
Hope for the Flowers

I posted this as a note on my Facebook profile a while back, passing it along from an FB friend’s status, and not bothering to look up the author or the source. This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Hope for the Flowers is an enduring fable about two caterpillars, Yellow and Stripe, and their struggle to climb to the top of a caterpillar pillar only to discover they were meant to fly. It all starts when Stripe, the main character, first hatched from his cocoon. He began his life by eating the leaf he was born on. He realized that there was much more to life than just eating the leaf he lived on. He looked for a way to get up in the sky when suddenly he found himself at the base of a pillar made up of caterpillars struggling to get up in the sky as well. Here he meets Yellow who also wants to get to the top but feels bad about stepping on everybody. They go down the pillar and live together. But Stripe’s curiosity grew everyday and finally he decided that he will get to the top. Yellow however found out that to find their particular “more” or who they really are, is to enter the cocoon and try to be a butterfly. She triumphed and could then show Stripe what their life was really all about. Stripe then also makes a cocoon and at the end they fly off together.

Butterflies are a recurring theme and metaphor in my life. Beauty. Grace. Ability to fly. Transformation. It’s lovely to see all these elements appearing in a novel intended for a child’s reading, or, as Paulus puts it herself, “for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read).”

Hmmmm…. maybe it’s time for this caterpillar to read.

2 Responses to “Butterflies: Hope for the caterpillars”

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  1. Melita Flynn says:

    This book looks beautiful.. I am going to buy it for my Kindergarten class..

  2. Peter says:

    Mmmm…. Good idea!

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