Caterpillars by Elizabeth Gibson

I used to make caterpillars from peas.
It was the only way I could eat them
without getting infinitely bored. I’d
spear one with a fork tine, breathing
out when it held its shape, green and
round. I’d spear another and another,
until I had a line of four or five or until
they protruded off the end of the tine.
I would glance up, hoping someone
would be impressed by my ingenuity.

Now I am sitting with my parents and
brother in a supermarket café. We order
the usual, fish and chips with peas and
I have that strange, strong sense, that
hits me often these days, that I am an
adult now, one of them. No longer do
I send caterpillars scuttling to find
some attention. We laugh and chat as
equals, and I feel no better or worse off
than I was before. Just… acceptance.




Elizabeth Gibson 1Elizabeth Gibson is a Masters student at the University of Manchester and a Digital Reporter for Manchester Literature Festival. Her work has been accepted by The Cadaverine, London Journal of Fiction, Far Off PlacesSeverine, and Ink, Sweat and Tears in the UK and Firefly, Sea Foam, Gone Lawn, Sincerely, and Siblíní in the US. She spent a year teaching English in France, which inspires much of her work. She tweets at @Grizonne, Facebooks at and blogs at

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