The Secret Life of Leopold H. Caterpillar (Part 5)

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Leopold joined the other agents crowding around the table laden with the latest and best weapons.

“Now, we’re all aware that relatively little is known about the Morphs so far, given our brief contact with them,” said Evelyn Butterfly. “Unfortunately for us, that means we’re at the disadvantage because we don’t know how to defend ourselves against them or what their weaknesses are.”

“We’ll juss give ’em a good ol’ fashioned whoopin’!” exclaimed Frank Grasshopper, throwing his fists in all directions.

Evelyn fixed him with a steely glare. Frank froze in mid-strike, then slowly lowered his fists and mumbled to his feet. Continue reading


The Secret Life of Leopold H. Caterpillar (Part 4)

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


After a short nap, Leopold’s first order of business was to visit the mess hall. He couldn’t remember the last time he had gone so long without eating, but his stomach complained pitifully.

“Good, the salad bar’s still open!” he said to himself as he entered the room.

Leopold piled his tray with generous helpings of leaves, grass, and a few flower petals for extra flavor then found an empty table and sat down to refuel. Either the food was exceptionally delicious today, or he was just too hungry to care. He shoveled another handful of greens into his mouth and glanced around. Continue reading

The Secret Life of Leopold H. Caterpillar (Part 3)

Part 1, Part 2.

Leopold entered the dim room, which boasted about the same amount of personality as the Chief himself. No decor of any sort graced the bare walls, and the sparse, practical furniture made sitting on a porcupine look more inviting. Chief Mantis valued functionality above all else, and preferred not to waste time on what he described as “unnecessary, frivolous frippery.”

Mantis 7

Chief Edward James Mantis

Continue reading

The Secret Life of Leopold H. Caterpillar (Part 2)

Click here to read Part 1.


Far below, tiny houses dotted the flat land and rivers wriggled along like so many worms. Leopold only dared a peek every now and then. Mostly, he kept his focus on Joy’s feathers or on the shapes of the fluffy clouds that were far too close for comfort–just as long as he didn’t have to look down. Joy chattered and sang the whole time, but the howl of the wind in Leopold’s ears made it impossible to hear anything. Honestly, he was glad for it. The last thing he needed was the bluebird’s bubbly voice grating on his nerves and breaking his concentration. Continue reading

The Secret Life of Leopold H. Caterpillar (Part 1)

summer sun tree

It was a hot Texas summer–the time of year when humans migrate either to the ocean or to cooler climates, without any apparent pattern. Some even choose to stay put, preferring to retreat indoors to hibernate until the fall when they’ve grown new, thick coats.

The heat didn’t bother Leopold. As long as he had enough food to fill his stomach and the shade of his favorite tree, he didn’t complain. All the same, he rather admired humans for their resilience. Despite their intolerance for extreme temperatures, they never accepted defeat. Year after year, they held their ground and battled the sun itself–inventing all sorts of clever contraptions to stay cool rather than surrendering to its rays.

Leopold stretched his rows of legs, then tore off a piece of the nearest leaf and stuck it in his mouth. It crunched in a most satisfying way as he chewed. Grabbing several more handfuls of leaf, he climbed back down into his hiding place among the twigs. The tree provided welcome shelter, but he had to be cautious of birds. Most considered caterpillar a tasty snack, and he had no desire to be eaten. Luckily, his green skin perfectly matched the surrounding leaves, which kept him from drawing too much unwanted attention. Continue reading