Monday, 2 July 2012

tadpole’s promise

I read a story the other day.

Called Tadpole’s Promise, it was a love story.  Bleargh!

A tadpole fell in love with a caterpillar.  ‘You are my beautiful rainbow,’ said the tadpole to the caterpillar.


‘And you are my black pearl.  Promise me you’ll never change,’ replied the caterpillar.


‘I promise,’ said the tadpole.

“But the tadpole will change; he will grow legs!” the almost unanimous exclamation.

The story continued.

‘You’ve changed!’ noticed the caterpillar.


‘I don’t want those legs!’ complained the tadpole.  ‘I didn’t ask them to grow!’

‘Promise me you’ll never change,’ said the caterpillar.

‘I promise,’ said the tadpole.

And of course it wasn’t long before the next pair of legs sprouted.


‘I couldn’t help it,’ said the tadpole.  ‘I promise I won’t change any more.’

Then his tail disappeared.


‘I’m sorry,’ said the tadpole.  ‘I didn’t mean to.’

But by this time the rainbow caterpillar was decidedly grumpy with her black pearl.  She climbed up a tree and went to sleep.


“Ooh ooh ooh!  She’s turned into a chrysalis!  She’s pupating!” came the excited squawks.

At which point, with the sad black pearl of the no-longer-quite-a-tadpole pining away at the bottom of the pond…..


I stopped.  What, I wondered, do you think happens next? 

Well, putting our combined knowledge of life cycles to the test, we pretty soon worked out that the rainbow caterpillar would also change, as the focus of her love, the black pearl, had done.

Both Ella…..


and Ayesha…..


were of the popular view that as the tadpole turned into a frog, so the caterpillar would become a butterfly.

A little hint is called for I feel.  You might be surprised at the ending …

“I know, I know,” squeaks Alexis.

“I think the butterfly comes out then the frog lays eggs,” suggests Hiromi.  For her, the life cycles will continue apace.


Remembering how grumpy the caterpillar had become, Yanis feels that maybe the time has come for forgiveness. 

He suggests, “The tree fell (that’s the surprise!) and the frog came with a present.”


“I know, I know!”  Alexis again.

An apology would follow recriminations as far as Tanisha is concerned.  “The frog was an adult frog and the butterfly (for indeed the caterpillar did change into a butterfly) told him, ‘You broke your promise!’”  She continues with, “'I am sorry,’ said the frog.”

And for Anusha, a happy ending.  “I think the caterpillar is going to turn into a butterfly and the tadpole (will) turn into a frog.  And they say ‘We changed!’ and then they are in love and they live happily ever after,” she wrote.

“I know, I know!” comes Alexis once more.

But hang on will you Alexis.  Keep your secret a bit longer as you let me continue just a little further with the story.  And then you can say what you clearly know will happen.

As we all predicted…..


the caterpillar did turn into a beautiful butterfly.

Meanwhile, back at the pond, the poor ‘tadpole’ carried on looking for his beautiful rainbow caterpillar…..


as a beautiful rainbow butterfly drifted overhead (she looking for her black pearl).


‘Do you know?’ began the butterfly.

Go on Alexis.

‘I think the frog is going to eat the butterfly,’ he says, grinning hugely.


And do you know what?  He’s right!


And to this day, the poor tadpole (although of course he is by now an adult frog) is still wondering whatever happened to his  beautiful rainbow caterpillar.


1 comment:

  1. I love this story, and I love the way you retell it with the children's commentaries!
    Hats off to you miss!