He found Siórnai sitting on a dandelion. She was playing with the petals and her face had pollen all over, but she still was really beautiful.
He doubted something this small could help him with the egg, so He was going to leave her alone, when she said:
“Can I tell you a tale?”
He was tired from the journey and the field of flowers was fragrant and soft.
He sat down next to her.
Long ago there was a young Caterpillar, who would spend his days on his leaf. He would gnaw the edges of it, raising his head every now and then to look at the field spreading in front of him.
And he was happy.
One day, however, while he was gazing at the horizon, he heard the wind whistling past him, whispering one only word, over and over: ‘freedom’.
The young Caterpillar didn’t know what the wind was talking about, but by the sound of the word he thought that that freedom thing must be a really amazing thing.
Back on his leaf he was feeling restless, thirsty and hungry, even if his body wasn’t in need of food or dew.
The new word wandered about in his head, until the tiny bug decided that he would not be able to be happy ever again, unless he found out what freedom was.
He grabbed a few things and he was on his way, sure that the Snail who was always boasting about being clever would have an answer.
“What is freedom?” he asked her.
“Oh, this is an easy one!” she said. “Freedom is being able to bring your home with you wherever you go, not having to worry about finding a place to sleep.”
That said she crawled away, panting, and cursing to herself for all the weight she had to carry.
The young Caterpillar did not think the Snail’s words were quite convincing and decided to go on.
“Do you know what freedom is?” asked the Caterpillar.
“Of course I do,” answered the Praying Mantis. “Freedom is getting rid of links and relationships until there is just you, free to do whatever you want. Look at me: I kill my partner after I mate, and I am free.”
The Caterpillar thanked her with a big smile and rushed away, slowing down only when he was sure the Mantis was out of sight.
The Dog was half asleep, but he was worth a try.
“Have you ever heard of freedom?” asked the Caterpillar.
“Freedom? Freedom is to serve your master and wag your tail when he comes out to bring you food, and to wait for him even if it rains and it is cold, even if it seems he’s never coming.”
Then the Dog thought he heard a sound and, thinking it could be his master, he ran towards the door as far as he could get before the chain around his neck started choking him.
He barked a couple of times, whined, and finally lay down, facing the house.
The sad, little Caterpillar moved away, thinking that this was not the answer he was looking for, not at all.
The sun was setting beyond the horizon, when he finally realized he was lost.
He was hungry, cold and did not know how to go back home.
He sat on a stone and he started to cry.
The Wind was passing by and he stopped when he saw how desperate the little Caterpillar was. He asked him what on earth made him cry so hard.
“I’m looking for that freedom you have been talking about,” he sobbed. ”But everyone gives me a different answer and all of them are bad, and I’m lost and feel so small and helpless I could die. Tell me about freedom…”
The Wind, then, started to tell the Caterpillar about his travels through the clouds, about the games he played with the leaves lying on the street during the autumn. He told him how he made people’s hats fly from their heads and how funny it was to see those elegant men chasing them around.
“Take me with you!” pleaded the Caterpillar.
“I can’t, I would hurt you…. You’re so small….” said the Wind.
“You would hurt me just the same if you didn’t take me with you.” Said the Caterpillar. “Take me with you…”
The Wind took the Caterpillar on his broad shoulders and flew away.
The Caterpillar was happy again, and knew deep inside his little heart that he was born to fly.
But after a while the branches of the trees started scratching his his little body, and the air was so thin he could hardly breathe.
“My friend,” sighed the caterpillar to the Wind. “My heart is falling apart, but I have to leave you. I have learned many things from you, about the world and about myself, and I thank you. But if I don’t stop flying with you I would probably be killed.”
The Wind knew it was true, and tough he was really sad at the idea of leaving his friend, he agreed to take him back to his leaf.
Alone again, the Caterpillar was feeling empty and aching, as if someone was carving out his stomach with a spoon.
He stopped eating, he curled on his leaf and stayed there for the entire day, the entire week, until eight weeks later he finally woke up from his slumber.
He shook the winter off himself and he felt he was deeply changed, then he realized he had a set of beautiful wings attached to his back.
He spread his wings, letting them dry under the sun, and then he flew to play with his friend, the Wind.
He looked at Siórnai for a while, making sure she had finished her tale.
“Is it you, you are talking about?” He then asked.
“Isn’t it always? Isn’t it never?” she said, and flew away.