An anxious child fearing embarrassment, loud noises and scary faces internally died most severely when confronted with one particular furry creature. Bizarre muscle movements, infinite legs, no defining face—the Caterpillar. Little Natalie became paralyzed with disgust and dread when she happened upon these fuzzy life-ruiners in gardens, on trees near her swing, hanging lazily from half-devoured leaves.
The Caterpillar had strategic plans for interfering with Little Natalie’s happiness. When she wanted to play with a favorite toy in the grass, It and many of Its dastardly comrades would be a step ahead, covering the precious piece of joy with their fuzzy little paws, circling around kick balls, claiming her life for their own.
Barbie dolls became tainted, ugly as if infected by the touch of a Caterpillar.
Nothing in particular truly made the creatures so tragically horrifying. Their very existence was enough to keep Little Natalie awake at night, little head imagining what their awful velvety feet felt like when overpowering a child’s body.
A lone Caterpillar was enough to make her scream, but a whole fleet of the beasts made her want to vomit, to faint, do anything to nullify their existence. They liked to travel in packs, herds of brainless bug zombies crawling all over the earth like they owned the place.
The Caterpillar ruined Little Natalie’s life until she became Medium Natalie, around age 14. While on a hike during the Caterpillar breeding season, Medium Natalie encountered sac-fulls of baby Caterpillars nesting in trees above her head. Branches were littered with white, cottony nests of evil. As she continued walking, the nests burst, and the baby monsters began parachuting down from the artificial wombs on silky strands of bad intentions. Medium Natalie shrieked and shrilled her way through the forest, dodging the black divers as if avoiding synthetic spooks in a cheap haunted forest.
And then, she reached light. Fresh air that wasn’t contaminated by the exhales of tiny Caterpillar breaths. Nearly collapsing from the relief, she managed to crawl back inside her home, checking her hair and back for clinging parasites wanting to touch her with their newborn fuzz. A shower and desire to burn everything which touched that myriad of awfulness purified the Medium Natalie to a somewhat decent state.
She survived. She survived Caterpillars.
Today, this Natalie isn’t quite as fearful of the odd beings. She wouldn’t invite them into her home for a cup of coffee, but she wouldn’t puke if one of them touched her shoe. They are no longer a reason for screams but perhaps a light brushing away, merely a nuisance to tomato plants.
Little bugs seem so microscopically important when compared to the horror that is Adult Life.