Once upon a time, there was a prince who fell in love with a fair maiden. But his enemy captured the fair maiden and held her captive in a tower. Now the prince had a plan to rescue her, so he recruited the help of two small creatures to send a message to the maiden.
First, there was Claude Caterpillar. Claude was a nice guy, and he didn't mind helping fair maidens in distress. But Claude was kind of a crusty old character. You might wonder, "Did he get up on the wrong side of the bed? Maybe he has a migraine headache or something."
Anyway, the prince gave him the message, and he started inching along toward the tower. Being a fat little caterpillar, he had to work hard to get there, even sweat a bit. He thought to himself, "Wouldn't you know it, the sun would have to be shining today!"
Just then, the weather began to change. Clouds moved in, and little drops started coming down all around him. He grumbled, "Rain, of all things. And I just had this suit cleaned."
But Claude wasn't a quitter. He made it to the tower and searched for a way up. A vine growing along one side was the obvious answer. Inch by inch up the vine Claude went, only to discover that it was a climbing rose bush. All the way up you could hear, "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!"
When he finally reached the window he heaved himself onto the ledge and said to the fair maiden, "Hey, lady! Come here! Are you the maiden in distress?" She nodded as she looked down at this sweaty, muddy little caterpillar.
Claude gave her the once-over and said, "You're kidding. You mean I came all the way up here for the likes of you? I don't know what the prince sees in you. He sent me with a message, and you wouldn't believe how hard it was for me to get here. His message was: 'Get ready.' He's coming to get you. Five o'clock sharp! Understand? All right! Good-bye!" And off went Claude.
Next, the prince sent Barney Butterfly. Barney was not so sure of himself with the rain and wind, but he said he would try. His soft wings lifted him gracefully into the air. He struggled with all his might against the wind as it blew him back and forth.
Just as he was about to reach the window, a bird swooped down and nearly ate him alive. After a frantic chase, Barney flew inside the window beyond the bird's snapping beak. He flew about the room until the maiden noticed him. She reached out her hand, and he landed softly on her finger.
She brought him close as he relayed the Prince's message: "Lovely and favored maiden, the prince loves you dearly. At the sound of his voice, jump from the window and into his arms."
The maiden replied, "Thank you, beautiful butterfly. You are very sweet. But tell me, why did the caterpillar bring the good news in such a nasty manner? He seemed so rude and rough."
The butterfly replied, "Oh, you mean Claude? Well, that's just Claude. I used to be that way, too, until I was transformed."
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