The Caterpillar that Crossed the Road

by Joanna Pierce on March 08, 2017

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little caterpillar. This little caterpillar and his friends were hungry. So, the little caterpillar and his friends decided they were going to eat from the huckleberry bush across the road.

As the little caterpillar approached the road, he stopped, looked, and listened for cars before crossing the road. But, His friends didn’t stop, look, and listen and crawled out into the road. All of a sudden, the little caterpillars’ friends were squished by an oncoming car! They didn’t cross the road when it was safe.

Because the little caterpillar stopped, looked, and listened, he was still alive. When he determined it was safe to cross the road—after he stopped, looked, and listened—he continued on and soon arrived at the huckleberry bush.

The little caterpillar ate, and ate, and ate until he was really full! Because he ate so much, he became a little tired. He borrowed a web from a friendly spider, and spun himself into a cocoon. After time passed, the caterpillar woke up. He broke out of his little cocoon. To his surprise, he was no longer a caterpillar, but a beautiful butterfly! The little butterfly lived happily ever after.

This made-up story—with a great amount of detail, and storytelling enthusiasm left out—was often told to my sisters and me at bedtime by my Dad. It was strangely one of our favorites, and one I remember years later into adulthood.

It may seem like a strange, and albeit terrifying story to you, but it was effective in teaching my siblings and me the value of looking out before crossing the road. Back when children used to play outside, watching for oncoming traffic in the road during our daily playtime was a necessity. My parents wanted to make sure we were safe and didn’t get hurt.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6, KJV).

Scripture admonishes parents to teach their children the way they should live their life when they’re young. When their taught values, given instruction in the Word, and shown how they should live by example, they grow up living right.

You might think my Dad was a little terrifying with his story, but I learned to watch out when crossing the road. I still do all of those very things as an adult today as a driver and pedestrian—sometimes to the aggravation of my husband because I really take my time to stop, look, and listen!

The world may look at us like we’re a little weird for the methods we use to teach our children and the things we make them do. But, our goal in this life is to make sure our children understand the Word of God and help them hide it in their hearts. Once the Word, love for God, and desire to live for Him is instilled in our children, it will be a part of them for the rest of their lives.

We need to be diligent about training up our children today. We must take pride in it! Or, like my Dad, have a little fun. My Dad knows I know how to cross a street because I’m still alive today. It’s because even as an adult, I remember the story about the little caterpillar that crossed the road. And, I’ll never forget it.