A black and white caterpillar met me by the side of the road. I was going forward and he was doing the crossing. I considered stepping on him, watching the green slime ooze from an end simply because he was an intruder. I contemplated the damage that the slender black spines, and short irritating hairs could do chomping leaves, defoliating lives. Instead I stood and watched a while as he crossed the scalding pavement, scaling a pebble that was really a boulder, navigating a twig that was really a log. Then there was long laborious climb up the steep curb onto the cool grass. How many miles did he have to travel before he reached the canopy? He is prickly and poisonous, and then again, so am I. Who am I to judge a life?
Radical, resilient creature
Inborn desire to climb.
Diminutive, minatory, a hazard to touch,
With a heart kindred to mine.