I opened the drawer and I saw a green little monster jumping around. I was scared, very scared. I’d just returned from the TV room where a sci-fi movie about green-coloured ugly monsters taking over the earth. Although this one was quite small, around the size of my palm, I was sure it could grow up into one of those heinous monsters.
So, what did I do? I ran to my mother and told her there was a monster in my drawer. She was reluctant but came to check. ”There’s no monster baby, go to sleep,” she said soothingly. I was not sure she was right but I was sleepy, so I went to my bed. Mommy kissed me good night and went to her room. I was almost asleep when I felt something soft and slippery on my hand. Thinking of it as my saliva, as I have a habit of salivating while asleep, I got up to clean my hand but it was not my saliva. It was the green little monster!
It couldn’t say anything to me if I killed it, and I’d save the Earth. But I didn’t have the heart. So, garnering all my strength, I trapped it in a little box and took it to mother. She said, ”Why can’t you sleep, I told you there’s no monster.” ”But there is momma. Look, I trapped it in the box,” I said to her. She opened the box. But her reaction was not quite what I imagined. I thought she’d be proud of her little girl. To my surprise, she started laughing. ”You call this a monster? Oh God, I can’t believe this,” she said. ”But it could take over the earth like those monsters in the movie and kill us all,” I said alarmingly. ”Oh dear, it is a caterpillar not a monster. You’d know if you ever went to the garden in the rainy season! They’re not monster, just the young ones of butterflies,” she told me. ”But how can butterflies look so beautiful and their kids so monstrous?” I asked her. ”Well, that’s something you’ll have to find out yourself. But for now, go to sleep, I’ll release it into the garden in the morning,” my mother said. And that’s how I learnt the difference between caterpillars and monsters.