Sacrificial Caterpillars

In the most vivid colors imaginable, I dreamed that several friends and Iwalked in a municipal park along the shore of one of the Great Lakes. Itwas like Lake Michigan in Chicago, but in some much smaller city, much furtherNorth. Waukegan? I was invited there once for a wedding, but have neverbeen there. The closest one ofthese my friends remarked how cold last winter had been there. Asevidence he pointedto the cracks running through our paved path, and then to a pair of almosthuman size swans that had been naturally freeze dried. They facedeach other in a pose that appeared to symbolize the intimacey oflovers --in a conventional sort of way. Their covering of brownand gold feathers --the white must have been somehow burned by theirconstant exposure to the elements (in other words, they had weathereddarkly)-- wasexceptionally thick, and extened even to the insides of their mouths. Theirfeathered tongues had frozen as if in mid-argument, both of themtalking at once.

We surmised that city we were visiting had left them there as both amemorial to love and atestimonial to the dangers of indulging romance in such a harsh environment.Further on down the path there were ducks and crows, a lone giant goose,and an oversized eagle. Then a feather covered stingray --of all God'screatures-- and a huge ocean fish, likewise with feathers in place of scales.

I kept looking back over my shoulder at them, backward past theforwardly directed gazes of my walking companions, who affectedthe air of having seen it all before, but who I was sure had notreally seen any of it.

I reverted to my earlier distraction of pulling the local versionof caterpillars off of leaves and tossing them into the lake, whereuponthey were transformed into large, translucent, cloudy white seacreatures. I loved watching them change shape and swim away,resembling nothing so much as transparent octopus tentacles,except that their suction cups were greatly exaggerated and opaque aschalk.

Beyond the last ofthe freeze-dried feathered creatures the water was clear enoughto see the bottom, six feet or so below the surface. There werebrightly colored fish resembling all the tropical varieties found in theaquaria of trendy restaurants, but actually large enough to eat. Alsobottom feeders and crabs. Bright reddish orange serpent-things wrappedthemselves around all the biggest rocks. The serpents werecovered with scales resembling not feathers but flower-petals, and thecaterpillars-turned-octopus-arms seemed helplessly drawn to them. When theygot too close, the serpents would turn swiftly with open mouths andswallow them whole. The caterpillars thus became my sacrificialofferings to the serpents. They magically escaped their first peril,--drowning-- only to fall victim to a fate befitting the sea creaturesinto which they had metamorphosed --that of being devoured by biggersea creatures. Some of my friends noticed what was happening andvoiced thoughtful objections to this newfound practice of mine.But I ignored their protests. Just as I was about to toss in a wholebranch literally writhing with caterpillars, the alarm clock went off.

Dreamed by: Spraxlo