Father Christmas attitude is destroying enterprise in PNG
A proud Papua New Guinean

The story of Oa grasshopper & Kaipa caterpillar

Iriani Wanma 1IRIANI WANMA

ONCE upon a time in a garden there was a little green grasshopper named Oa and a little green caterpillar named Kaipa.

Oa and Kaipa were best friends. Kaipa was much slower than Oa so Oa would always visit Kaipa. Oa and Kaipa lived on an aibika.

Every morning after Oa woke up he would hop over to Kaipa’s leaf and they would eat breakfast together then tell stories. Oa would tell Kaipa about his adventure and Kaipa would listen with great interest.

‘You’re so lucky, Oa,’ said Kaipa. ‘I wish I could go on adventures like you. I wish I could see new places like you do.’ ‘Don’t worry, Kaipa,’ said Oa. ‘You keep eating and I’m sure one day you’ll grow legs and wings like mine; and be able to hop and fly like me.’

As the weeks passed, Oa and Kaipa began to change. Oa became big and strong – his legs longer, his jumps higher and his flight better. Kaipa became fatter and much slower. ‘Oh Oa, I’ve been eating and eating aibika like you told me to but nothing has changed,’ cried Kaipa.

He wiggled his legs, ‘My legs are fat and wobbly and they sure can’t hop… and I have no wings,’ complained Kaipa. ‘What’s the use?! I’ll never be like you!’ Kaipa hung his head. He was sad. Oa kept quiet. He didn’t know what to say to his best friend. He walked over to Kaipa and put his arm on his best friend’s back to comfort him.

One morning Oa hopped over to Kaipa’s leaf to have breakfast like he always did. ‘Kaipa? Kaipa, where are you?’ said Oa. ‘Down here,’ said Kaipa. Oa climbed down the stalk to a lower leaf of the aibika and looked up and there was Kaipa – hanging upside down. ‘Hey Oa,’ said Kaipa.

Iriani Wanma 2‘Why are you upside down, Kaipa?’ questioned Oa. ‘I don’t know. I just felt like hanging upside down lastnight so here I am,’ replied Kaipa. ‘Are you going to come down and have breakfast with me?’ asked Oa.

‘I’m not hungry but you go ahead and have some aibika,’ said Kaipa. Oa munched away at the aibika leaf while Kaipa hung upside down listening to him talk about his adventure yesterday.

The next day Oa came over for breakfast, Kaipa was still fast asleep so he ate breakfast alone not wanting to disturb him. For three days straight Kaipa was asleep when Oa came over in the morning.

On the fourth day he decided to wake Kaipa up. As soon as Oa woke up he made his way over to Kaipa’s leaf. ‘Psst… Kaipa,’ he whispered, not wanting to be rude. But Kaipa didn’t respond so he decided to yell, ‘Kaipa! Wake Up!’ Not a single movement came from Kaipa. He flew up onto Kaipa’s leaf and hopped up and down, ‘Wake up, wake up, wake up, Kaipa!’ But still there was no sound and no movement from his best friend.

Two weeks went by and Oa had stopped going over to see Kaipa. He was very sad that Kaipa didn’t speak to him and they didn’t have breakfast together anymore. He didn’t like his grasshopper friends; he just wanted his best friend, Kaipa, back.

One beautiful sunny morning as Oa opened his eyes he saw a bright yellow butterfly infront of him. ‘Hey friend,’ said the yellow butterfly with a big smile. ‘Ah! Who are you?! And why are you on my leaf?’ shouted Oa. Oa was frightened of the butterfly.

‘Oa,’ said the yellow butterfly as he walked towards him. ‘It’s me – Kaipa.’ ‘Kaipa?’ Oa moved closer to inspect the yellow butterfly. ‘You look so different.’

Kaipa grinned. ‘I know. And look, I have wings now, Oa,’ said Kaipa joyfully as he flapped his big bright yellow wings. ‘We can go on adventures together now.’

‘Oh Kaipa, I missed you so much!’ cried Oa. The two best friends had breakfast together like they used to but this time on Oa’s leaf. And after breakfast they set off for their very first adventure together.


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Eugenia Berlee

You're welcome Iriani.

Iriani Wanma

Wow - it's a big compliment to hear that you've bookmarked it, Eugenia. Thank you for the compliments and encouragement.

Eugenia Berlee

Wow that's a very nice piece of writing. Very interesting. Please do write more of this type of stories. I've bookmarked it.

This story won the Crocodile Prize award for writing for children in 2014 - KJ

Iriani Wanma

Thank you, Jermaine!

Jermaine Rekanzie

Nice piece Iriani, well done :-)

Iriani Wanma

Thank you Cinta! I would love to sit in while you read and see what the kids think of the story. Looking forward to hearing from you of the kids' responses.

Cinta Wanma

Congratulations Iriani! I loved reading the story. I can't wait to read it to my sons and this will be the first story I read to my kindy class when I get back to work! Soo proud of you sis!

Bernard Yegiora

Welcome and keep on writing.

Iriani Wanma

I'm so happy to hear Robin and Bernard.

Bernard Yegiora

Thanks, my son really enjoyed this story.

Robin Lillicrapp

Enjoyed reading that happy little story.

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