Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The World's Most Famous Caterpillar



I am sitting at a table in the courtyard.

The breeze is fantastic. There are trees in the yard. Their green leaves shimmer. I lean my head back, close my eyes.

It feels like heaven. Or at least, my approximation of it because if I’ve ever been there before, I don’t remember it.

I’m a million miles away when a voice startles me by shouting in the manner of someone who has just discovered that their trousers have caught on fire. 

But the cause for alarm is a grey caterpillar, the size of a finger, that has landed on a document turning its own pages in the wind.

Someone picks up the page and shakes this alien to the ground. Everyone relaxes as the strange bunched-up concertina motion heads my way.

An electric blue tail and a Martian-green shape floats from its mouth. 

I have a bad feeling that this creature might bite.

You got a camera?

This is a dumb question to ask when surrounded by members of the I-phone generation.

The caterpillar is walled in with screens.

The caterpillar is converted into pixels.

It is now a celebrity caterpillar.

Everyone has a photo except me – a member of the Kodak Instamatic generation.

I can’t get beyond the idea of a phone being a camera-less object that lives at home in the hallway connected to a box in the wall by telephone wire that I avoid going near at all costs.

Particularly if it’s ringing.

Now no-one will ever believe that I once met the world’s most famous caterpillar.

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