A caterpillar comes to stay – inspiration for “Bocchi and Pocchi’s Big Surprise”
Illustration from "Bocchi and Pocchi's Big Surprise" written and illustrated by Noriko Matsubara

A caterpillar comes to stay – inspiration for “Bocchi and Pocchi’s Big Surprise”

A caterpillar comes to stay - inspirarion for "Bocchi and Pocchi's Big Surprise"

This blog first appeared on my children’s book website. You can read it here.


One day when I took a cabbage out of the fridge and I found a caterpillar between cabbage leaves. I told my husband to take the caterpillar outside. He refused and said “If we put him outside with only one leaf, he’ll die.”

I was appalled, but we kept him. I didn’t like the caterpillar first, but as days passed, I got attached to him and ended up naming him, ‘Midori-chan.’

But one day Midori-chan stopped eating. He didn’t move and his green body turned yellow. I thought he got sick. I worried our creepy crawly might die.

On the next day he vanished.

About a couple of weeks later, I got up in the morning and found a white butterfly perched on our flowery patterned curtain. “Midori-chan, where were you hiding?” Then I saw a little straw coming out from the butterfly’s face. 

‘He wants to suck nectar from flowers!’ I thought.

So I put the butterfly in a jar and into my backpack. I rode to the countryside with it on my bike. When I was cycling, I was filled with strange feeling I never felt before.

The weight of the life of the butterfly was no lighter than the one of a human.

As this thought came to me, tears started coming out from my eyes with joy. I felt connected with this little creature and he is so precious. I am in a human form and he is in a butterfly form but we are the same life energy and we are one.

Finding a caterpillar on a cabbage was a trivial incident in my daily life. But what I learnt from this trivial incident was more than I could have learnt from hundreds of philosophy books.

From that experience, Bocchi and Pocchi’s Big Surprise came to be.

This blog originally appeared on BocchiandPocchi.com on July 6th 2018.

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