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A story for children aged 5-12 years
Betty's Great Adventure!
Dim light envelops me. I think the sun is just coming up. But I'm not completely sure. It could also be moonlight. I can't see too much because for weeks now I've been hanging upside-down from a kind of stick, inside a silk shell. I like to think back to when my life was full of colour and joy.
Back then I was Betty the happy, well-fed, splotchy, little caterpillar. Every day, as the sun came up, I would crawl from my warm, cosy knothole in a huge broadleaf tree. Protected by the large leaves, I'd warm my round tummy in the sun. And then I'd set off on a little journey. Sometimes I'd go to the delicious bramble bush in the garden next door, sometimes to the broadleaf tree opposite and sometimes to the luscious hazel bush on the ground below. I'd look for the greenest and most beautiful leaves and really enjoy eating them. I have to admit, I was a little greedy guts! I really did eat too much! It was as if I knew that one day I would have to hang from a stick without anything to eat or drink at all. So, it really was lucky that I had such an insatiable appetite.
Once my little tummy was finally full, I would slowly make my way home. It was very hard work with all my many tiny, little feet. But I took my time and enjoyed the fresh air. I would arrive home in the evenings stuffed full of food at my cosy nest and roll myself up into a ball and watch the moon for a while before falling asleep. And then the next morning I'd set off on my next journey.
Then suddenly, something quite unusual happened. All at once I had the strong urge to crawl along a nice, thick branch and find a place to hang for a while. I dangled back and forth, not noticing the delicate thread coming from my head winding itself around me until I was completely cocooned by it. My caterpillar body was gone, I couldn't see anything anymore and I felt somewhat weightless. How long it went on, I don't know. At some point I noticed that I had slender feet and a long feeler. On top of that, I was wrapped in something wide and colourful. What was it?
It's slowly becoming quite cramped in here. I want to stretch and move about. Suddenly, I hear a noise, like something is tearing somewhere. I turn to the side a little. There! Above me, I can see a small hole in my cocoon. Sunlight shines through it. I can smell spring and freedom. I'm very excited. I want to get out. I push here a little; I push there a little more. I've done it! I'm free. I breathe deeply and enjoy the feeling of the sun on my beautiful wings. Wings?! Hold on! I have to take a closer look at this. That's right! I have beautiful wings and a velvety, slender body. I look dazzling. I wonder if I can fly? I think I'll simply just try. I bravely let myself fall and spread my wings. But I don't fall. Just the opposite. I glide almost silently through the air. I can't believe it. I've transformed from a small, somewhat chubby caterpillar into a graceful, beautiful butterfly. From now on I'll call myself Betty Butterfly!