The mosquito was hungry. His whole life had been next to the pond and he lived it the same each day. He buzzed around the pond from sun up to sun down with his friends. They played games and dreamed of the great things they would do in their lifetime. In the late afternoon, when the dog came to get a drink, the mosquito and his friends would feed on its blood. They always ate well, until the dog became sick from the constant feedings. The dog was dying. The mosquito did not care for the dog, but now he was hungry. He was helpless without the dog. It was his nature.
The mosquito did not know where to turn, so he watched the other insects to see how they thrived. He noticed the butterfly had nice lifestyle; flowers were abundant and always there for food. The mosquito wondered how he could live his life that easily. He watched the caterpillar as the caterpillar worked all day. The caterpillar dreamed of becoming a butterfly and worked tirelessly to achieve his goals without regard to the world around him. It was his nature. The mosquito asked the caterpillar why he worked so hard.
“I am working to become a butterfly one day,” the caterpillar was happy to enlighten the mosquito. “All day long I travel long distances to find food to store for my energy. All night I work to build my cocoon. That will surely help me to become a butterfly one day.”
The mosquito was confused.
“But, where is my food? The dog is now sick. Where is my cocoon? I do not have one,” the mosquito explained.
“I will show you what you need to do and how hard you must work,” said the caterpillar. “I want you to be as grand as the butterfly like I will be.”
“I cannot do that, it is simply too much. You are delusional to think that you can become a butterfly solely on your own. There must be another way,” the mosquito asserted.
The spider saw everything; he rested above the other insect and always watched them to find his next prey. He noticed the plight of the mosquito and thought he could help.
“Why does the caterpillar get to become a butterfly and not you?” the spider questioned the mosquito.
“The caterpillar works very hard,” the mosquito confidently answered. “Watch him as he labors night and day.”
“The caterpillar was born to be a butterfly. You are not a caterpillar; you will starve and die without the dog.”
“What can I do? I cannot become a butterfly. I did not travel far and wide to find food for my energy. I did not work tireless each night to build a cocoon,” the mosquito protested.
“Everyone should be as happy as the butterfly. The world is unjust,” the spider appealed to the mosquito.
The mosquito became envious and asked for the spider’s aid. The spider explained how he could save the mosquito. The mosquito and the spider would solicit the caterpillar for help because the caterpillar had prepared for himself enough and others needed his assistance. The mosquito would lead the caterpillar into the spider’s trap, where he would be stuck. The mosquito could then feed on the caterpillar for energy and then use his cocoon to transform into a butterfly. The mosquito had no other choice. He obliged and asked the caterpillar for help.
“It is really not my place to feed you or build your cocoon. I am barely making it on my own,” the caterpillar said.
“Look at the mosquito,” the spider said to the caterpillar. “He cannot survive on his own. You were born into a better environment and you have plenty. It is only right that you help those that are in need.” The spider was convincing.
The caterpillar conceded to the spider and began helping the mosquito each day. The mosquito used the caterpillar and led him into the spider’s trap. The mosquito then drained the caterpillar until he was dead. The spider’s plan had saved the mosquito’s life.
“Now you must go to Compunction Cavern. That is where the caterpillar built his cocoon and it is where you will begin your new, happy life as a butterfly,” announced the spider.
The mosquito was overjoyed. He raced to Compunction Cavern without delay. The spider was a godsend. He flew as fast as he could, not watching where he was going and not stopping in time before he slammed into the spider’s web. He was stunned; surely this must be a mistake. The spider will come by to free him and get him into the cocoon he deserved. He heard something.
“Spider, is that you?” said one voice.
“I am ready to get into my new cocoon!” shouted another. “I have been waiting so long!”
“Have you brought a caterpillar for us to feed on? We are so hungry” asked a distant voice.
The mosquito looked around. Dozens of other mosquitos were stuck in the same, complex spider web. His heart sank.
“No, it is just me. The mosquito,” he said with a broken spirit.
The other mosquitos started to panic. Their optimism quickly left them as they began screaming for help; they were all doomed to the same trap.
The spider had a pipeline of easy prey because he was smart, deceitful, and methodical. It was his nature. The spider stayed well fed for a long time. The spider, however, did not consider the bat. The bat had been waiting. He knew he could not save the caterpillar; the caterpillar was self-absorbed and could not see what was going on around him. He knew he could not save the mosquito, as he was too envious and unwilling to help himself.
The bat waited until the spider was too immersed in this dubious game to see him coming. He swooped in and ate the spider quickly and quietly as he had planned. He thought he could save the caterpillars, now that the spider was gone. However, there were no caterpillars left. He went to Compunction Cavern to save the mosquitos, but was met with horror when he found that the mosquitos were thrashing around, trying to eat each other out of starvation.
He returned alone, sadly, to his home in Contumacious Cave. He would have to learn to live with less, now that the spider had decimated his environment. But the bat was ready for anything; he was patient, independent, aware, and resourceful. It was his nature.