TREE’S A CHARM
by Toneye Eyenot
“Well, look at you, Mr. Caterpillar! You are a colourful critter!” Clarry Montfarland knelt on the forest floor, leaning right forward on his arms with magnifying glass in hand. The caterpillar he was admiring had just ridden a dislodged leaf from a low hanging branch and was now slowly consuming its ride. Clarry inspected the uncountable hair-like spines on its back and knew not to try picking it up. He recalled with a shudder, the stupid game they had going at school, where you’d pluck a leaf with a spitfire caterpillar on it, sneak up on some unsuspecting kid and touch them with it. It was all fun and games – outrageous itching, a sting which hurt for hours, red, painful blisters – until someone allergic blew up like a balloon and went into anaphylactic shock.
Find this story in the anthology THE THICKET