"What's this life?" the caterpillar asked the grape.
"I'm not so sure," the grape responded. "Maybe it's what we become later on."
"How so?" the caterpillar inquired.
"Well, think about it, we're both waiting for something, you're waiting to become a butterfly, and I'm waiting to be pressed into a fine Bordeaux. We're both growing, and preparing ourselves for what lies ahead."
"Interesting," said the caterpillar. "But I know I'll become a butterfly. And in my comfortable larder I don't have to worry about being preyed on. I can just eat this spinach and prepare. How do you know they won't turn you into a raisin?"
"Well," said the grape, "they told us from early on that we can become anything we want to if we just put our mind to it."
The caterpillar considered this for a moment. He knew that the grape hadn't realized that in this larder the most likely place he was destined to end up was in a fruit salad.
"I think that things will work out fine for you." said the caterpillar. "I believe in you."
"Thanks." said the grape. "I know that once you're a butterfly you'll go and see more of this world than this larder. We both have so much ahead of us."
The caterpillar held these words in his mind, the grape reminded him of back when he was a little larva, and he believed that if he really worked for it, he could become a wood pigeon. Now a little more mature, the caterpillar understood that the world has already made plans for caterpillars and for grapes, and for every living thing in between.
"Do you believe in destiny?" asked the grape.
"No." said the caterpillar.
"You believe that you have the power to shape your own path?" said the grape.
"No." said the caterpillar. "I know that there are limits to what I can do in this life, I know that if I try to fly now, I'll fall, but if I eat enough of this spinach, I'll be able to grow wings and fly, but even then, I'll never be able to swim, I'll never be able to build a house."
"What's a house?" asked the grape.
"I believe that I will make decisions, and from these decisions, consequences will emerge, and from these consequences, reactions will emerge, and from all of this, my life will take shape, but it will be a caterpillar's life, not a hedgehog's, and not an orange's."
"I think you're a pessimist," said the grape. "If I was to think like that then I'd give up hope. I know I'm a grape, I know that I can become a wine, or a raisin, or I can rot in this larder, but I still believe that if I try hard enough, I can become an apple."
At this the caterpillar scoffed. "You'll end up in a fruit salad, you're not going anywhere, trust me. You grapes all think you're going to be something when you come here, but I watched your packet get picked away, just like I saw the last packet get picked away, you're not destined to be anything."
The grape was hurt. The caterpillar's words he thought were mean and sharp. Words, the grape thought, were weapons when used in such a way, and they left scars on the grapes you used them against. The grape looked up at the caterpillar, he was looking away now, with a hard expression on his face.
The grape rolled over on his side, he thought that all his dreams did seem pointless, he knew that when he was picked, he wasn't sent to be pressed into fine wine. He knew that when he was packaged and put in the fridge that he wasn't going to become a raisin either. He never wanted to be a raisin, but now he felt jealous of them.
He lay there for what seemed like a long time, still. He could hear birds chirping in the distance. The larder door opened and a large hand got hold of him, suddenly everything was dark, he felt a blunt hit in his side. He thought he could see, but he wasn't sure what was happening, he felt hot, and cold at the same time, he looked down and saw that he had been bitten in half, it went dark again...
The butterfly sat upright on the branch, the little grapes were listening with their beaming little eyes and ears. He told them that if they tried hard enough, then they could be taken to be pressed into fine wine. They liked the sound of that.