The Caterpillar That Wouldn’t Change

Do you know why some people are open to change while some are so afraid of it that it practically cripples them?

It’s because some people are able to see the underlining opportunity in what change will bring them – they embrace change.

While others have been taught to see change as being uncomfortable and to avoid that pain at all cost.


Did you know, just because someone cannot see change as being positive doesn’t mean they are stuck there for life?

In fact, it’s something that can be learned by detecting the purpose for change.

This reminds me of this story I’ve read to my kids by Nancy S. Mure called “The Caterpillar That Wouldn’t Change.”

Learn to Embrace Change From a Courageous Caterpillar

The story goes like this…

One beautiful day in the field, two caterpillars, Nelle and Franny were off to their daily ritual of eating leaves from tree branches.

Franny turned to Nelle and said, “Some day we’ll turn into butterflies.”

“What do you mean?” Nelle stopped so quickly her body gathered into a high upside-down U.

“We grow until it’s time to change,” Franny told her as she started to munch on a leaf.

“Do I really have to change?” Nelle asked.

“You must. That’s what caterpillars do,” said Franny.

“Why?” asked Nelle.

“Because you can. Wouldn’t you like to be a beautiful butterfly someday?”

“I want to stay the way I am,” Nelle insisted.

Franny huffed and crept along.

One afternoon Nelle watched as Franny inched to a J in the branch. Franny then wound a thin gray string from within herself around the J several times.

While she gradually draped herself below the J, she continued to weave the string.

Suddenly Nelle noticed Franny was hanging from the branch. The gray string, curling thicker around Franny, kept her from falling.

“What are you doing, Franny?” Nelle yelled.

Franny was too busy to answer.

“You’re changing,” Nelle moaned. “But I don’t want to change into some strange creature, especially a flitty little butterfly.”

“I will find you again,” Franny called to Nelle. She waved a little leg before she was totally wound inside the gray mass……

Do you consider yourself to be just like Nelle?

Or, are you like Franny who understands their purpose by embracing change and the beauty it will bring to life?

Some time in your life you’ll need to ask yourself…

“How long do I continue to go down this road with the same results before I admit to myself
that if I want a new result, then I will have to change today?”

When you are ready to make a change, embrace it and commit to it because you can achieve what you once thought was impossible.

Caterpillar, nothing is impossible!

Jerome Ratliff

The Caterpillar That Wouldn’t Change by Nancy S. Mure

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Author: Jerome Ratliff

32 thoughts on “The Caterpillar That Wouldn’t Change

  1. Hi Jerome,

    Change can be frightening because of the “unknown.” What “is” is familiar “what is to come” isn’t.

    I finally let go of something I should have let go a long time ago, but didn’t because it was ‘familiar’ and although it was broken I was going to make it work again.

    I’m sitting on the runway in a new plane about to lift off. Nothing but blue skies ahead. It’s going to be a new exciting journey. But it wouldn’t have happened had I not “let go.”

    Loved the story of the caterpillar. Great analogy!

    Have a beautiful day!


    1. Hi Ilka,

      That unknown factor does frighten a lot of people. Also the whole comfort zone aspect plays a critical role in preventing us from taking that plunge, which will actually set us free. So, I’m very happy that you took that leap of faith. I bet it felt quite liberating to get that off of your shoulders.

      I know what’s in store for you… There’s nothing but clear skies sprinkled with clouds of opportunity.

      Thanks for hopping on over to our new blog.

      Jerome Ratliff
      P.S. I love the amount of motivation you have, wonder if you would like to write for us sometime. I will contact you to see if you would be up for it.

  2. Hi Jerome!
    Thanks so much for the inspiration!
    Life=Change doesn’t it? If we don’t embrace change, we’ll all be missing out on a lot of opportunities and beautiful experiences.
    I used to be afraid of change…just like Nelle. Now I have come to realize that change is all part of the journey. Bring it on! =)
    Thanks again for the reminder!

    1. Hi Stacia,

      And thank you for a thoughtful comment. The world is full of great and beautiful opportunities. The more we can be open to what change can bring us, the more fulfilled life we can have.

      Congratulations to you for breaking through. That is a HUGE deal.

      Have a great and prosperous weekend.
      Jerome Ratliff

    1. Thanks Kareem for the compliment.

      Feel free to look around here at our other posts too. I hope they help you like they have helped us.

      Jerome Ratliff

  3. Hi Jerome,

    thanks for sharing this inspiring post about caterpillars, one embracing change and others resisting.

    Change is not about changing for the change’s sake, it’s about becoming the person we’re supposed to be.

    A great take.

    Take care


    1. Hi Oliver,

      Thanks, as I thought this would be a perfect example of the different types of people in the world. But, more importantly if we can learn to embrace change, we might not be all that different after all.

      Embracing change,
      Jerome Ratliff

  4. Hey Jerome – neat post and message. I wonder sometimes if the desire to change have a life metamorphosis is innate or inspired by peer and support networks

    They say misery loves company and I think its true sometimes that the familiar horizon – regardless of how unattractive it appears will still appeal more to many than the great unknown

    Cheers kiaran

    1. Hi Kiaran,

      Personally, I think it’s something that is learned. Having the right support group, will help. However, there is a lot of discovery that needs to happen with that certain somebody. They have to experience it within themselves. Then when they are ready, they will be ready for what’s next.

      Glad you pointed that out. 🙂
      Jerome Ratliff

  5. Cute story and we can all relate 🙂 The key to change is like to you mentioned, looking for the ‘opportunity’ in change.

    The only constant in life is change and you have to accept that or miss the opportunities. I’ve missed several opportunities because I didn’t want to change, just thinking about that is enough motivation for me to embrace change when it happens. Thanks for the nice post and encouragement 🙂

    1. Hi Liz,

      What a great point. Change is a given. It’s happening all the time. Some of it we are okay with and most of the time we don’t even recognize it. But, when it comes to a particular person they fear what may become. My wish is that more people understood how change works and the vast opportunities that lie within it.

      There is plenty of opportunity in change.

      Thanks for your comment and supporting us.
      Jerome Ratliff

  6. Hi Jerome,

    Beautiful story. I know that there are parts of my life where change is hard to accept and other parts where it comes more easily for me. The thing is that either way I cannot remember anything where the change didn’t help me somehow down the road, so I try to stay focused on that when things feel difficult. It’s all part of the journey!

    Thanks for sharing your butterfly story!


    1. Hi Heather,

      I completely agree with you. Some areas change is easy and then there are some that are hard. If we look back at the change, it always ends up working itself out.
      What a beautiful journey it has been. 😉 Can’t wait for what tomorrow brings.

      Jerome Ratliff

  7. Hi Jerome,

    Love the story! How we deal with change is a major factor in deciding how we live our lives.

    Change is fundamental to life, and I learned (not very quickly but I did learn) that embracing change in a genuine way means you suffer far less than resisting something which is inevitable.

    In the beginning I found that suffering too much was what drove me to change. As I’ve grown more, the promise of the joys of accepting change has increasingly become the motivational factor in embracing the new.

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration,


    1. hi Jym,

      I must say, I know what you mean. Embracing change was difficult for me as well. It just shows how similar all of us are. At some point we get sick and tired of suffering as we know there has to be something different.

      And, the beautiful part is, there is always something there waiting for us to discover it.

      Change brings wonderful things.

      Talk to you later,
      Jerome Ratliff

  8. Great story you are sharing here, Jerome.

    You said it well – when you are ready to make a change, embrace it and commit to it.

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration.

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

    1. Hi Mavis,

      Thank you very much. Your comment got me thinking.

      And I have to admit, it is very easy for me to just say change and embrace it. However, after experiencing the struggle of not changing, I would much rather go through a temporary state of struggle that comes along with change instead of dealing with it forever.

      See how much a difference your comment mattered… 🙂

      All the best to you too,
      Jerome Ratliff

    1. Hey Josh,

      Thanks for the compliment buddy. My brother and I thought we could put this together and share our struggles and how we overcame them. This post is just one example of that.

      I’m glad you liked it.
      Jerome Ratliff

  9. Hey Jerome – as everybody has already said – what a lovely story! If childrenwere only told more stories like way back. Boosting their imagination is such a benefit for all their lives – with lots of blue printes embedded change can be embraced so much easier!
    AS they say: “Be the change you want to see in the world”


    1. Hi Frieke,

      Now that would be something. When we share such powerful, moving stories that depict how life trruly is, that tends to put things back into perspective. I thought this story did that beautifully.

      By the way, I love that saying by Ghandi.

      Thank you so much for sharing that and not to mention, for supporting us on this mission.

      Cheers to you too. 🙂
      Jerome Ratliff

  10. That was so inspiring! I think I will fall asleep with a vision of myself as a caterpillar spinning myself into a butterfly. Great post!

    1. Hi Dee,

      Now that’s a beautiful transformation we all can aspire to go through. Thanks for your support and your wonderful comment.

      Talk to you soon,
      Jerome Ratliff

    1. Hi Tanisha,

      It’s amazing when we hear stories like this and how similar the battles each and everyone of us deals with. Imagine what it would be like if more people could change their way of thinking, like Franny. The world be an entirely different place and more people would live a confident life.

      Thanks for stopping by and raising us up with your comment.
      Jerome Ratliff

    1. Hi Lawrence,

      I love your analogy to a dog in a long run. Far too many people get stuck here and will continue to struggle when in reality if they just took the courage to embrace the change, the amount of pain and suffering will be considerably reduced.

      Thank you for your comment and hope to see you soon,
      Jerome Ratliff

  11. Mind opening site. Perfect for reflection on our lives.
    We need to accept and embrace change in order for our life to work and become more exciting. If you dont’ change, you will always get what you always got.
    But its difficult to cope up with change for we have fears. Fears are mostly mind created and are more unlikely to happen because it is not real.
    Merge yourself into the real world and enjoy. Let go of all your fears. Surrender it to Jesus.

    1. Hi Armil,

      Thank you for the compliment and glad you liked the story. Sometimes a story is a great way for us to put our own life into perspective.

      Jerome Ratliff

  12. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or
    something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

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