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The Caterpillar, the Fly and the Mouse
by Diane Height

“What’s so silly?” says the caterpillar to the fly, and the fly to the mouse, and the mouse to both of them. “What do we have in common, us three, setting out on this journey in this make believe world of nonsense?” they all said at once.

“Where are we going?” asked the caterpillar.

No one answered.

“Well,” said the fly, “why should anyone respond to the caterpillar when it can’t really speak? He doesn’t know how to talk or read or write. Where are we going?”

“Why do you ask?” asked the mouse. “You can fly anywhere, so why do you need to be with us?”

“I can’t go far,” said the fly, “unless I’m in something else. And yes I can fly, but I only live a short time, so what’s the sense of flying if I only live a short time?”

“Well,” said the caterpillar, “I only crawl, and not very fast, so I need transportation also. But what about you, mouse?”

“I can run very fast, but I have to watch out for the cats. So I still need something to carry me. But I think I live longer than you two--unless I’m caught by a mouse. Then it’s all over.”

“So have we decided where we are going?”

“No, but I think we are almost there.”

“What a happy voyage,” said the caterpillar to the fly, and the fly to the mouse.

“We should do this more often and tell others, but not the cat because the cat would eat me,” said the mouse. “I must taste very good because it’s eaten others of my kind.”

“Are we there yet?” said all three.

“Who,” all three said to each other, “can tell when we reach our destination because we don’t know where we are going; and if we don’t know where we are going, how do we know when we get there? How do others know when they get where they want to be?”

“As for me,” said the caterpillar, “I can’t speak, read or write, and I’m slow, but I do know when I’m crawling around and around in circles.”

“As for me,” said the fly, “I can fly, and I don’t live long, but I do know when I’m flying around and around in circles because I fall to the ground.”

“As for me,” said the mouse, “I’m fast because of cats, but I do know when I’m running around and around in circles because I never escape the cat.”

“So we must be there,” said the caterpillar, and the other two said, “Yes, we must.”

And so they were. “We’re here!” one of them said, or was it all three?