The Little Green Caterpillar – A Tribute to Baxter
The little green caterpillar marched steadily up the sidewalk along the river. He, or she, it’s kind of hard to tell on little green caterpillars without getting up close and personal, was moving determinedly with his, or her, destiny in mind. It was going to be a beautiful butterfly—or maybe an everyday brown moth. Again, it’s hard to tell…Anyway, it was making great progress on the warm sidewalk on this gorgeous sunny day.
Then, along came a four-legged monster covered in white hair! And the monster was pulling a long cord with a two legged gigantic dinosaur attached at the end. The gigantic dinosaur also had white hair, but only on its head and face.
The little green caterpillar showed no fear and kept inching up the sidewalk, focused on his, or her, destiny to be beautiful and fly away, hopefully not toward bright lights. But the four legged monster put his—it was a he, it’s easy to tell on four legged monsters, especially up close and personal from sidewalk level—head down and began snuffling at the little green caterpillar. Sniff, snuffle, snuffle, sniff. The caterpillar immediately remembered its self-defense lessons learned many years ago, thousands of years ago in fact, and curled up into a little ball. As the white monster sniffed even closer the little green caterpillar suddenly flexed and leaped into the air—at least a half inch—which scared the hairy monster so much that he quickly jumped back. And that made the old dinosaur laugh out loud.
“That will show them,” thought the little green caterpillar, as he, or she, resumed its forward progress. But the hairy monster still wanted to be friends and came back snuffling and breathing on him, or her, which distracted the caterpillar so much that he, or she, missed a step, or a crawl, or a creep—what does one call a caterpillar step? Anyway, it fell into a crack that ran across the sidewalk and began a slow detour towards the edge of the walk.
The hairy monster grew bored waiting for the little green caterpillar to come out of the crack and play with him. So, the hairy monster left to pee on trees, sniff goose poop, lick pretty ladies’ toes sticking out of their sandals as they stopped so their little kids—who were not afraid of him or of the old dinosaur—could pet him. He also had to lie down in the middle of the sidewalk to scratch and lick himself and then get up to chase rabbits running through the grass. But he couldn’t chase the rabbits very far because the slow old dinosaur was still attached to him.
Then the hairy monster remembered that he was getting paid very well to take the old dinosaur for a walk three times each day. And it was now time to pull the old dinosaur back home so it could take its afternoon nap.
And so the hairy monster could collect his doggie-treat pay.