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The Autobiography of a Maori

We Discover the Vegetable Caterpillar

We Discover the Vegetable Caterpillar

During the winter-holidays I led two expeditions and was a member of two others. The first expedition I joined was to discover the vegetable caterpillar. I had heard of this extraordinary object but was somewhat skeptical about its existence. Our field of exploration was known as Tatham's Bush and we found this, though not extensive, still intact. As we entered the bush we had a feeling of great adventure and of curiosity, perhaps somewhat akin to the feelings Jason experienced as he approached the little bush in which was the Golden Fleece, the difference here being that we were spared the dragon's teeth and the ferocious dragon. Our trusty guide looked confident and we felt hopeful. After wandering about the bush and closely studying its floor, the guide called out, "Here's one!" We all rushed towards him. His finger was pointed at a little plant sticking out of the ground, then with his knife he dug around the growth and gradually unearthed the perfectly shaped body of a caterpillar. It was about two inches in length and the growth which looked like its tail was just as long. We found about half-a-dozen which we carried home in triumph.