Rachael the cucumber was finally big enough to open her eyes. Growing on the vine was a slow process and it never seemed to end. All she could do was hang there and wait for the day when she could open her eyes and witness the world around her. It seemed that today was that day. The very first thing she saw when she opened her eyes was a caterpillar looking at her. This elicited a little gasp from her, and made the caterpillar laugh. At first, Rachael was mad, but then she couldn’t help but laugh as well. After the two were finished laughing with each other, they introduced themselves, because it was only polite. Rachael learned that the caterpillars name was Rebecca. Rebecca was green, just like Rachael herself. The two became very close friends, and they spent most of each day together. However, Rebecca had to go home each night to sleep, and Rachael had to spend each night hanging on the vine. Even though Rebecca would sleep over every now and then, Rachael spent many nights silently growing on the vine and watching the world sleep.
From what Rebecca told Rachael, they were both in a huge garden tended by a woman that would come in and tend to the plants daily. Since Rachael couldn’t very well move from the vine, she had to depend on Rebecca for information on the outside world. She knew she could trust Rebecca, because they were friends, but there were some things that Rebecca told her about that Rachael had trouble believing. One of these things was large metal beasts that people rode around in. Rachael asked why the beasts didn’t simply eat the people, but all Rebecca could say was maybe the beasts needed people to feed it too much to eat the people. After Rachael thought about that later on that night, she decided that the reason the beasts didn’t eat the people was because the people didn’t taste good. This made her laugh and she couldn’t wait to share this insight with Rebecca the next morning.
However, when Rebecca came to the vine the next morning, she didn’t look like she was feeling too good, and everything else in Rachael’s mind was wiped away out of concern for her friend. When she asked her friend what was wrong, all Rebecca could say was that she felt really strange, and that she seemed to be leaking all over her body. This really bothered Rachael, so she started calling out for help, but there were no other cucumbers close enough to hear her pleas. Being a cucumber, she couldn’t reach out for her friend and offer comfort, since she had no arms, but she could be there for her through this rough time. Before long, Rebecca said that she felt like she had to hang down from the vine in front of Rachael and that everything would be okay. Rachael had seen her friend stretch her body out to go from one vine to another, but she had never witnessed her just hang down from the vine. This worried her terribly, but not nearly as much as what was about to happen.
Rebecca stayed hanging from the vine all that day and into the night. Rachael was very worried about her friend, but she couldn’t do anything more than just be there. That night, Rachael allowed herself to sleep, but when she opened her eyes the next morning, instead of seeing her friend hanging in the same spot where she had been, she saw a cocoon hanging there. Rachael looked around frantically for her friend, but didn’t see her anywhere. She was badly frightened that something had happened to her only friend, and as the day went on, she started getting very upset. As the day wore on, she noticed sounds coming closer to the vine. She had heard these sounds from time to time, and they usually didn’t worry her since her friend was usually there to keep her safe, but now she was alone and these sounds were getting very close.
Before Rachael knew what was happening, she saw the woman that Rebecca had told her about. She was gathering up cucumbers into a basket, and she was reaching for Rachael. The cucumber was too terrified to even scream, and all she could do was watch as she was pulled from the vine that she had known her entire life, but there was no pain as she left her place in the vine. All Rachael cared about was that whenever Rebecca finally came back, she wouldn’t be able to find Rachael anywhere. Rachael kept thinking about this the entire way back to the large house that the woman was approaching. As she watched, the woman took her and the rest of the cucumbers into a large room that smelled really good to Rachael. Before long, the woman washed Rachael and the water felt really good since it was much steadier than the rain that sometimes fell on the vines. However, when Rachael was placed in a jar and submerged in water, she decided that she liked the rain better since it went away. What were worse were the spices that the woman had placed in the jar with her. In the jar, Rachael lost all sense of time and soon slept. When she awoke, she found that she was much smaller than she had been when she fell asleep. She was also no longer smooth, but instead she was covered in bumps. She was shocked by the transformation!
The woman soon opened the jar and took Rachael out and placed her on the counter to dry. Laying in the sunlight, she saw that the other cucumbers had been transformed as well. They were no longer cucumbers. They were now pickles. The new pickle was looking around when a beautiful butterfly fluttered in the window and landed in from of Rachael. The butterfly seemed to be studying her before laughing. Rachael was shocked to realize that she recognized that laugh. When the shock wore off, she started laughing as well. After all, hadn’t this been the way that a cucumber and a caterpillar had started a friendship? It was only fitting that this should be the way that a pickle and a butterfly should continue that friendship.
Rebecca told Rachael that the cocoon was something that her mother had told her about and that it was necessary for her to go from caterpillar to butterfly. She was sorry for scaring her friend, but it was hard work getting ready for the transformation. Once she came out of the cocoon and found her friend missing, she decided to use her new wonderful wings to find her friend. Now here she was, but it looks like she wasn’t the only one that went through a transformation. With that, the two friends laughed again and continued their friendship as if nothing had happened.
© Copyright 2016 CharlesLeeMcCabe. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Young Adult
Short Story / Children Stories
Short Story / Horror
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