A very long time ago there lived an Idea. There was nothing else but this Idea, and the idea was lonely. So the idea became a Seed, and travelled around until it found a place where it could grow.
Soon the Seed became a Sapling, and apples began to grow from it. These apples began to attract the animals and birds, for they looked sweet and succulent. The Tree said to the animals and birds, “These are my apples, but they are also my children. Please do not eat them, but inside them you will find much to eat to satisfy your hunger.” So it was that the gods entered the worlds.
The Tree continued to grow, and grow, and grow and more apples grew along it’s branches. Occasionally an apple would fall, and the Tree would be sad, for it had lost it’s child, and so Squirrel began to go and collect these apples and bring them back to it’s nest in the Tree in return for the life and the food that the Tree gave it.
For a long time Tree was happy, but then the insects came. The insects did not listen to Tree and began to eat the apples. Tree could not do anything to stop them, and for the first time Tree did not know what to do. It was then that Woodpecker came along.
“Tree,” he said, “You have given us a home and food. We wish to do whatever we can to help you and your children. I will carve into your trunk 35 symbols, and they will use your knowledge to show you what to do to save your children.
Tree gave her permission and the symbols were carved. They showed Tree that she must make a symbol for each of her children, no two alike. This would protect the apples from the insects. She was also to let the birds and animals eat the insects that grew too large or ate too much, teaching them their place in the Sphere Tree. So that is what Tree did. The birds and animals ate the insects, and only left the small ones that they watched hungrily from then on. They left one large insect alone however, for it had never eaten of the apples.
“What is you name?” asked Tree of this strange insect,
“I am Caterpillar.” replied the creature, for that was his name.
“Why did you not eat my apples like the other insects?” asked Tree,
“Great Tree, your children looked so wonderful I couldn’t eat them, for they are beautiful and deserve better.”
Tree, the animals and the birds were amazed, and Tree consulted the symbols for what to do with Caterpillar. In accordance with the symbols wishes she spoke to Caterpillar again, “Caterpillar, I will ask you to do me a favour, and I shall reward you for that favour. I wish for you to take a bite out of each of my apples,” at this the animals, birds and Caterpillar were shocked, for Tree would do anything to protect her children. “each bite shall open the apples up to the others, and the thread you leave behind as you walk shall provide a way for those in the apples to travel to other apples. That way my children will never be lonely, for their inhabitants can travel along your threads to get to other apples as well as travelling the sap within my branches. In return when you have completed your task you shall have made a chrysalis, that you may enter and emerge as a butterfly, you will walk no more!”
So Caterpillar set about his task, which was not easy for there were a thousand apples, and some fell and were recovered by Squirrel so that he had to go back and forth many times, allowing threads to cross and sometimes using the same branch. At last he finished and went back to his chrysalis, but Tree spoke to him again.
“Caterpillar, you have done well,” she said, “but there is one apple left that you haven’t bitten. Until you have I cannot make you a butterfly.” and so Caterpillar set off again.