The Dance of the Caterpillars ~ In a Time Before Texting
Fisher (James Fisher Ford) is a child who often hears an exclamation point after his name, because he is usually in trouble. Fisher! He is an imaginative, sensitive 4th grader who doesn’t quite fit anywhere. His parents are in the process of divorce, and he is to go live with his father – a decision in which he did not participate, and which he chooses to deny.
In an increasingly mystical series of events, Fisher is invited into the metamorphosis of the caterpillars as they progress from caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly. The transformation of the caterpillars has its counterpart in this beloved child, who would give much to fly away with the butterflies but knows he must go home to the realities of his own life.
With his participation in the Dance of the Caterpillars, Fisher himself is likewise transformed, and can now engage his broken family from a new and healing perspective.
Ostensibly a book for children, The Dance of the Caterpillars ~ In a Time Before Texting touches the hearts of readers of all ages. It reminds us that our current technological capacities – although of value, has cost our children (and ourselves) a vital connection with the natural world of which we humans are an integral part.
I was thinking how I could swing my legs down over the rail of the bunk bed and drop to the floor, sneaky and quick. Like a spider does from his string, and not wake up Corey. The ladder was useless. It squeaked.
My dad was downstairs. He parked his truck at the top of the drive and walked on his tiptoes, thinking I wouldn’t know he was sneaking in through the kitchen. But Mama was crying, so I knew he was here.
I heard my name in the middle of things. James Fisher Ford. It’s what my Dad calls me when I’m in trouble. If these tears of my Mom’s had something to do with me, then the more I knew, the better I could explain my side of the story.
Maybe if I dropped my head over first and then pulled my feet along after. I tried it. I swung my head down and found myself nose to upside down nose with my sister. Her eyes were as big as my baseballs. She was sitting straight up while I hung there like a baboon.
“Fisher!” she said. “Mama’s crying again. And they were talking about you. I heard them. You been bad Fisher?”
Could be. More times than not I’m in trouble. And sometimes I don’t know a thing about it. When they surprise me with trouble, I don’t even get the chance to make my story sound good. They’re asking questions while I’m trying to figure out how much they know, and what it is they know something about.
My Mom says, “Fisher! Where have you been?”
And I say, “When, Mama?”
Or she says, “What do you have in your backpack that look and smell just like pears?”
I shrug my shoulders and swear it was a mystery to me, too, how those pears found my pack. I’d think about the Old Pear Man’s eyes all crinkled up even though he was trying to scowl, and his hair getting whiter since the last time I saw him. Almost half black and half white, like Rocky Road ice cream. And long! He needed it mowed, just like his back yard.